It’s little wonder his weekend concert at Kirstenbosch was sold out weeks ago. At 61, Johnny Clegg, icon of the South African music industry, still makes the hair on my arms rise when he performs songs that were instrumental in bringing South African Afro-pop and Mbaqanga* music to the world stage.
It’s powerful stuff that makes my heart beat and my hips sway in tandem to the rhythm of Africa and I’m reminded as I stand photographing this legend performing to a crowd of 5000 Capetonians of just how far we have come as a country since the dark days of apartheid when Clegg and collaborators such as Sipho Mchunu (below) transcended racial and cultural divides with traditional song and dance. Clegg’s Jaluka and Savuka became household names in those gloomy years.
* a style of South African music with rural Zulu roots.