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Johnny Clegg & Juluka

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Jonathan (Johnny) Clegg, born June 7, 1953 in Rochdale (near Manchester), Lancashire, (UK), is a popular musician from South Africa, who has recorded and performed with his bands Juluka and Savuka. Sometimes called “The White Zulu”, he is an important figure in South African popular music history, with songs that mix Zulu and English lyrics, and African / European / Celtic music styles.

Already in his youth, Johnny Clegg, a white, English-speaking person with what he called a “secular Jewish” upbringing in the UK, Israel, Rhodesia, Zambia, and South Africa, became interested in Zulu street music and took part in traditional Zulu dance competitions.

As a young man, in the early stages of his musical career, he combined his music with the study of anthropology, a subject which he also taught for a while at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, where he was influenced, among others, by the work of David Webster, a social anthropologist who was assassinated in 1989.

Clegg formed the first inter-racial South African band, Juluka, with gardener and Zulu street musician Sipho Mchunu. Because it was illegal for inter-racial bands to perform in South Africa during apartheid, their first album Universal Men received no air play, but it became a word-of-mouth hit.

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