Award winning singer, Johnny Clegg, who has passed away at the age of 66 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer, has been described as a world hero who united nations across the world with his music. His manager, Roddy Quin, says Clegg bravely fought the battle against pancreatic cancer.
The Juluka and Savuka band member is survived by his wife Jenny and their children.
Quin says Clegg’s music impacted many positively.
“He impacted a lot of people. It’s unfortunate that it came to what it is, but he fought into the last second and he passed away peacefully with his family in Johannesburg. He played a major role in South Africa, allowing many people to learn about other people’s cultures and bringing people together and trying to make RSA a better place for everybody.”
Jazz Musician Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse, says Johnny Clegg made an enormous contribution to the country’s music industry and society at large. Mabuse says it’s a sad day.
“It’s probably one of the most sad days in this country again to have lost someone like him. I’m shocked; I’m completely saddened by the news because I was always in touch with him. We spoke on the phone. But then again, we never know when this will happen. I’m extremely saddened by this.”
Musical legend, Abigail Kubeka, says that she wants to celebrate Clegg’s life.
“You know these are the people that you mourn their death, but celebrate their lives. We are still mourning and celebrating Nkonyeni’s life and now there’s Johnny Clegg. I don’t like feel crying anymore. I just feel like singing and dancing and celebrating them because these are people that have made history; that have graced the music industry that have made me proud to be in the industry.“
Ladysmith Black Mambazo manager, Xolani Majozi, has described his death as a great loss to the music industry.
“This is very disturbing news to all of us in Ladysmith Black Mambazo and also to the rest of the country because Johnny Clegg was a giant and a great legend who was promoting indigenous music, not only here in South Africa, but throughout the world. And he was flying the South African flag very high and he’s been an ambassador of South African music and heritage and it’s quite very sad to hear the news of his passing.”
Majozi says Clegg used music to unify South African society during the dark days of apartheid.
“During the time of the apartheid era, he was very vocal using music to give people hope that one day South Africa will be free and also talking to the world expressing the feeling and the hardship of the people of South Africa during the time of apartheid. His music was also across cultures. The kind of music he was doing was enjoyed by everyone from all race groups and he was a unifying factor within society.”
South African pop legend, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, says Clegg was a great musician who stayed true to himself.
Watch video below of Clegg talking about his legendary hit song, Asimbonanga: