The name is Clegg, Dr Clegg

Johnny Clegg

Johnny Clegg

Published Aug 28, 2018


Durban - The name is Clegg. Johnny Clegg. Dr Johnny Clegg.

The legendary South African singer, Johnny Clegg will be awarded an honorary doctorate in the Durban University’s Spring Graduation, taking place next month.

Clegg, along with renowned legendary individuals, will receive this remarkable recognition from DUT include, Dr Esther Mahlangu, Welcome “Bhodloza” Nzimande and Sipho Mchunu.

Clegg is one of South Africa’s most celebrated sons. He is a singer, a songwriter, a dancer, anthropologist and a musical activist whose infectious crossover music, a vibrant blend of Western pop and African Zulu rhythms, has exploded onto the international scene and contributed immensely towards social cohesion in the young South African democracy.

Clegg along with Mchunu formed a band called Juluka which means “sweat” in IsiZulu. Their music was subjected to censorship and internal restrictions on the state-owned broadcaster and their only way to access an audience was through touring. This brought them into conflict with Group Areas Act which enforced the geographical separation of race groups and their cultural facilities.

Mchunu will receive this recognition for his exceptional contribution towards Juluka and the crucial role that the band has played in the social cohesion of South Africans. Juluka’s mass movement against apartheid is recognised nationally and internationally.

In reaction to his upcoming recognition, Mchunu said that he didn’t expect to receive this honorary doctorate because his contribution to Maskandi music was solely driven by his strong passion for Zulu culture and traditions.

“I’m very appreciative to DUT on what they have done for me. You know what is happening to Maskandi music, most people do not recognise how important it is. For that I thank DUT for recognising the huge role that I played in the music industry and I hope this won't end for us, but it also happens to other young African musicians,” said Mchunu.

The honorary doctorate will be conferred to Dr Mahlangu in recognition of her national and international reputation as an artist, and her contribution to the broader arts sector through her paintings and her promotion of the Ndebele heritage.

DUT Faculty of Arts and Design Deputy Dean, Professor Brian Pearce said that Dr Mahlangu is a remarkable pioneer who has broken down barriers and endured many tribulations to be the inspiring icon that she is today.

“Dr Esther Mahlangu is not only a South African heritage icon but also an international visionary who has taken Ndebele artwork to the world. Her life and her art are an inspiration in our Faculty,” said Prof Pearce.

Also to be honoured is Welcome Nzimande, who is a renowned legend in broadcasting and in Maskandi music. He retired in 2010 after 32 years of service at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC). He joined (the then) Radio Zulu in August 1978 as an announcer, translator and producer. Nzimande, who was also a news reader, presented popular radio programmes including Vuk’ukhanye Afrika (Breakfast Show), Sigiya Ngengoma, Ezidlubhedu, and Phumela Eshashalazini (Face the Press). He also worked as a TV presenter co-anchoring the popular traditional music show called Ezodumo. He was appointed Station Manager of Ukhozi FM in 1997.

As an announcer it is where he displayed his passion for local music (maskandi), sung and performed by local artists in South Africa. He promoted the indigenous as well as traditional music in his radio programmes. In both radio and television, he showed unparalleled enthusiasm, passion, dedication and love for traditional and indigenous music.

After his early retirement from the SABC station, Ukhozi FM in March 2010 and joined Mvunonala Holdings (PTY) Ltd as an Executive Director. In February 2013 he was appointed by the Minister of Labour to be the Chairperson of the Unemployment Insurance Fund Board (UIF).

“I am delighted and flattered to have been awarded this honorary degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Arts and Design alongside cultural icons as Messrs. Sipho Mchunu and Johnny Clegg of Juluka fame noMama u-Esther Mahlangu who is respected globally for her indigenous Ndebele paint artistic designs., I congratulate and salute them. It is a special honour and privilege to share this occasion with them. I sincerely thank the Durban University of Technology for this award, and the Faculty of Arts and Design in particular,” said Nzimande.

“None, including me, would have thought that one day an ordinary fellow from Richmond like me would be honoured with an honorary doctorate. This award has opened my mind to new possibilities and opportunities, and it has strengthened my courage and conviction to proceed with purposeful pursuits,” he added.

Daily News

Related Topics: