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Wednesday, June 19th, 2019
Spirit of the Great Heart

Spirit of the Great Heart

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by December 19, 2018 General, News

It reads like the a Blockbuster movie tagline: “Trained anthropologist and Durban academic becomes world-renowned and revered musician!”

Johnny Clegg Stock ImageYet that’s exactly what happened when one of South Africa’s greatest sons, Johnny Clegg, chose music over his academic career in Durban many years ago. It was a moment that would forever change the musical history of a nation and provide a voice to those struggling to find words.

Many years, over five million albums and many tours later, including his sold out Final Journey Tour 2018 around the globe, Johnny has had his fair share of affirmation and acclaim. The 65-year-old was, however, visibly stunned and deeply moved when shown a video of fifty artists covering his 1992 hit, The Crossing, last week.

The video boasts a phenomenal line-up of national and international music legends, including Clegg’s son Jesse, Karen Zoid, Dave Matthews,Peter Gabriel, Jack Parow, Arno Carstens, Freshly Ground, Prime Circle, the Parlotones and Judith Sephuma.

The artists were there for two simple reasons – to celebrate and honour the life of Johnny Clegg, and to help launch an educational fund, Friends of Johnny Clegg.

“They ambushed me,” laughed Clegg in a subsequent interview. “I didn’t know what I was going to see, and I was crying by the end of it. I got a very strong sense of being affirmed and validated but also that the song was given a new life and a new purpose. I was just blown away.”

Clegg has always expressed a deep passion for education, which planted the seed for his “gift” of an education fund in his name.  Proceeds from all downloads of “The Crossing” tribute will go directly to the fund, which will be used to help alleviate the education crisis in SouthAfrica.

The fund is just one of Clegg’s remarkable legacies that have carved indelible footprints onto the heart of a nation. Despite battling with pancreatic cancer and related health challenges, Clegg has also begun writing an autobiography and is hoping to complete his Final Journey Tour in the new year. And then there’s his music –songs that will forever take us on a roller coaster ride through South African history.

Karen Zoid perhaps says it best, “Working on this project has been one of the greatest honours of my career. May [it] be the guiding light to thousands of children who will benefit from the incredible work done by The Click Foundation, through the Friends of Johnny Clegg Fund.”

The song is available for download on Apple Music, iTunes, Google Playstore and Spotify. All proceeds will go directly to the Friends of Johnny Clegg Fund via The Click Foundation.

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