South Africa

UKZN pays tribute to 'true son of Africa' Johnny Clegg

UKZN pays tribute to 'true son of Africa' Johnny Clegg

Johannesburg - The University of KwaZulu-Natal on Wednesday extended their heartfelt condolences to music legend Dr Johnny Clegg's family, friends and the multitude of fans across the world, following the death of the music icon at age 66 on Tuesday.

Clegg died at his home in Johannesburg after battling pancreatic cancer. 

UKZN Vice-Chancellor and principal professor Nana Poku said: "It is with sadness that we received the news of the passing of world-renowned music legend Dr Johnny Clegg.

"A true son of Africa who in his youth and under a repressive government dared to flout the laws preventing the mixing of races and go on to create an entirely new genre of music."

His brand of cross-over music entertained generations of South Africans across the racial and cultural divide.

Poku said in recognition of Clegg’s outstanding contribution to the music industry, the University of KwaZulu-Natal awarded him its highest honour, Doctor of Music, in April 2013. 

In his acceptance speech he regaled the audience with the stories of his life’s journey through music.

Speaking during the UKZN graduation ceremony, Clegg had said: "If there is continuity in the work that I have done, it is this underlying idea of crossing boundaries and mixing competing approaches. It forms the background and influence of crossing over of musical forms in most of the music I have composed. 

"It is an attitude and approach to culture, being a cultural handyman, fixing and changing the world with anything you have at hand which gives meaning and life to what I do."

Poku described the multi-talented singer, composer and dancer as having remained deeply connected to Africa.