The Durban University of Technology’s (DUT’s) Faculty of Arts and Design (FoAD) held a musical tribute in honour of legendary musician, Dr Johnny Clegg who passed away after a long battle with pancreatic cancer at the age of 66 last month (July 2019).
The memorable and befitting concert featured performances by Maskandi duo Qadasi noMaqhinga and band Ntomb’Yelanga NabaLimi.
Qadasi noMaqhinga had the crowd on their feet as they belted out some of Dr Cleggs’ greatest hits, Impi and Woza Friday, while Ntomb’Yelanga NabaLimi mesmerised with their unique sound using indigenous instruments.
FoAD’s Executive Dean, Dr René Smith spoke about the role Dr Johnny Clegg and his Juluka bandmate Dr Sipho Mchunu played in the social cohesion of South Africa during and after apartheid regime’s laws of racial segregation.
Dr Smith also read Dr Clegg’s acceptance speech from last year’s DUT (September 2018) Spring graduation ceremony where Dr Clegg and Dr Mchunu were awarded Honorary Doctorates in Visual and Performing Arts.
Dr Clegg didn’t attend the graduation ceremony, but wrote the speech which was read by Dr Smith.
In the speech he expressed his sadness for not being able to receive his honorary degree personally. “As a musician and songwriter, through my friend and brother Sipho Mchunu, I discovered the musical design of traditional Zulu street guitar music. As a young boy of fourteen, I was amazed at this fantastic intervention and decided I wanted to become a MASKANDI street musician. Later on I saw Zulu war dancing and was deeply impressed at how the human body could be wired to express itself with such power and passion. So I also became a war dancer at the age of 15, and later, with Sipho, started our own dance team,” he said.
Pictured: Ntomb’Yelanga NabaLimi.