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Memorial service of legendary Johnny Clegg Moves SA to tears

The memorial of late music legend Johnny Clegg is currently underway, with actor, director, and playwright Dr Bonsile John Kani leading the proceedings.

Kani did well to immortalise the work of Clegg and revolutionary artists, saying he would like to believe that artists’ work lives on long after they have passed on.

“Johnny is a complete book, and I want his friends and loved ones to put it in the library and revisit it often when they remember him.”

Kay Selisho@kayselisho · 2h

The #JohnnyCleggMemorial is currently underway

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Kay Selisho@kayselisho

Dr @JohnKani2 leading the proceedings at #JohnnyCleggMemorial

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11:57 AM – Jul 26, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacySee Kay Selisho’s other Tweets

Minister of Arts and Culture and Sports and Recreation Nathi Mthethwa then took to the stage to lead the address.

Mthethwa described Clegg’s music as life-changing and life-affirming.

“He was a symbol of reconciliation. A true African who understood African culture.”

When Mthethwa was first appointed to his portfolio, he reminisced how Clegg was his initial point of reference for the concept of social cohesion and nation-building.

Kay Selisho@kayselisho · 2hReplying to @kayselisho

Dr @JohnKani2 leading the proceedings at #JohnnyCleggMemorial

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Kay Selisho@kayselisho

Minister of arts & culture and sports & recreation @NathiMthethwaSA takes to the stage for his address #JohnnyCleggMemorial

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11:59 AM – Jul 26, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacySee Kay Selisho’s other Tweets

A visibly emotional Jesse Clegg said a few words about his father, before introducing a tribute song he and Clegg worked on before he passed away.

Jessie Clegg pays tribute to his father Johnny Clegg, 26 July 2019. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

Kay Selisho@kayselisho · 1hReplying to @kayselisho

Jesse Clegg now takes to the stage to say a few words about his dad #JohnnyCleggMemorial

Kay Selisho@kayselisho

A visibility emotional Jesse Clegg introduces a song he and his father worked on and that he will now sing in tribute #JohnnyCleggMemorial1112:24 PM – Jul 26, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacySee Kay Selisho’s other Tweets

A former Juluka band member of Clegg, Sipho Mchunu, took the opportunity to say a few words about Clegg, who he described as a friend, brother, and frequent collaborator.

Mchunu partnered with Clegg from the 1970s to the 1990s.

Sipho Mchunu pays tribute to Johnny Clegg, 26 July 2019. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

He then brought out an acoustic guitar, graced the memorial audience with a performance to pay tribute to the late musician.

Kay Selisho@kayselisho · 1hReplying to @kayselisho

Professor Charles Van Onselen #JohnnyCleggMemorial

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Kay Selisho@kayselisho

Sipho Mchunu takes to the stage to say a few words about his friend, brother, former band mate and frequent collaborator #JohnnyCleggMemorial912:39 PM – Jul 26, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacySee Kay Selisho’s other Tweets

Author, columnist, and documentary filmmaker Max du Preez also addressed attendees, saying that Clegg’s music was a symbol of “what we could have been and where we could have gone as a people on the southernmost tip of Africa”.

Kay Selisho@kayselisho · 1hReplying to @kayselisho

Sipho Mchunu takes to the stage to say a few words about his friend, brother, former band mate and frequent collaborator #JohnnyCleggMemorial

Kay Selisho@kayselisho

@MaxduPreez address attendees at the #JohnnyCleggMemorial

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21:00 PM – Jul 26, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacySee Kay Selisho’s other Tweets

The memorial’s stage was then filled with musician and Freshlyground frontwoman Zolani Mahola, as well as the Soweto Gospel choir in a moving cover of one of Clegg and Savuka’s songs, Asimbonanga.

Emotional South African music legends then gathered on stage to sing Clegg and Savuka’s The Crossing (O Siyeza). Many of them were overcome with emotion.

Kay Selisho@kayselisho · 1hReplying to @kayselisho

Jesse and Jaron Clegg thanking all the people who have been there for them on this journey starting with their mother #JohnnyCleggMemorial

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Kay Selisho@kayselisho

Various artists fill the stage to sing The Crossing #JohnnyCleggMemorial81:17 PM – Jul 26, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacySee Kay Selisho’s other Tweets

Clegg’s two sons, Jesse and Jaron, took a moment to thank everyone who had been there for them, starting with their mother, Jenny.

Kay Selisho@kayselisho · 1hReplying to @kayselisho

Zolani Mahola and the Soweto Gospel choir #JohnnyCleggMemorial

Kay Selisho@kayselisho

Jesse and Jaron Clegg thanking all the people who have been there for them on this journey starting with their mother #JohnnyCleggMemorial

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11:10 PM – Jul 26, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacySee Kay Selisho’s other Tweets

The memorial service wrapped up with a music video for Johnny Clegg and Savika’s Take my Heart Away. The music video was directed by Clegg’s son, Jaron.

Johnny Clegg passed away at the age of 66. The Suvuka and Juluka frontman succumbed to his illness after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.

Clegg is survived by his wife of 31 years, Jenny, and their two sons, Jesse and Jaron.

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Written by How South Africa

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