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Johnny Clegg One Life Concert

In a country that struggled with racism for so many years under the Apartheid regime, many people in South Africa went out of their way to help those who were oppressed. Johnny Clegg was one of those who reached out to help others and his music was inspired by what he saw and experienced in his youth. The One Life music concert is a brief but entertaining glimpse at the musical phenomenon that he later became.

Jonathan (Johnny) Clegg was not actually born in South Africa and perhaps this is why he was so willing to look past popular conceptions in the country at the time and to challenge the norms of society. Clegg was actually born in Lancashire in the United Kingdom in 1953 and he was raised in the UK, Israel, Rhodesia, Zambia and South Africa.

Such a diverse upbringing must have certainly affected his outlook on life and as a young man, Clegg became involved in Zulu street music when he started taking part in Zulu dance competitions. When he embarked on his career as a musician after leaving school, Johnny Clegg combined his music courses with the study of anthropology. This led to him meeting and learning from some very influential people at the time and also to teaching anthropology for a while.

Over time Clegg started performing with African bands such as Juluka (the first inter-racial band from South Africa) and Savuka, and he became noted for mixing Zulu and English lyrics as well as employing African, European and Celtic music styles. His early success started with the help and inspiration of a friend, partner and employee named Sipho Mchunu. While the local government saw to it that their album received no airplay, it was an instant hit just from word-of-mouth referrals.

Clegg and Mchunu blatantly tackled political issues that troubled them and their music as certainly not greeted with open arms by the government at that time. However it wasn’t long before a tide of change began to sweep over the country and soon Clegg and other band members started to gain a reputation overseas. Both Juluka and Savuka traveled and performed concerts abroad with massive international success. In fact, ‘the White Zulu’ is now returning from recent concerts in the UK to provide South African fans with what promises to be a truly entertaining concert. Book your tickets now to enjoy this great mixture of new and old hits performed live on stage by the White Zulu himself.


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