By Rebecca Davis
Musician Johnny Clegg has died aged 66 after a lengthy battle with pancreatic cancer. Although his health was poor, Clegg had continued to perform live until recently. The passing of this truly groundbreaking musician has already been greeted with an outpouring of grief by both South Africans and international admirers.
“It is with immense sadness that we confirm that Jonathan (Johnny) Clegg [… ] succumbed to pancreatic cancer at the age of 66 on the afternoon of 16 July 2019 at his family home in Johannesburg, South Africa,” read a statement from Clegg’s manager Roddy Quin on Tuesday night.
Tributes immediately began to pour in for Clegg both locally and internationally. Clegg had a devoted fan following in France, where Le Zoulou Blanc (the white Zulu) performed to sold-out stadiums.
But in South Africa there is already a particularly acute sense of grief at the passing of a man described by many as providing the soundtrack of national life.
“A towering giant has fallen with the passing of legendary singer-songwriter and anthropologist Johnny Clegg,” tweeted Minister of Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa.
“Our hearts are sore and as he famously sang in Asimbonanga, ‘oh the sea is cold and the…