Tag Archives: Nelson Mandela

Searching for the spirit of the great heart, Johnny Clegg, musical activist, pioneer, anthropologist – in Memoriam via @PatFurstenberg

I’m searching for the spirit of the great heart
To hold and stand me by
I’m searching for the spirit of the great heart
Under African sky
I’m searching for the spirit of the great heart
I see the fire in your eyes
I’m searching for the spirit of the great heart
That beats my name inside

Johnny Clegg, Great Heart

News headlines enter and leave my mind as I drive through the morning traffic, my eyes focused on the row of blinking lights ahead of me.

Rarely a news headline catches my full attention, extracting me from the traffic, my mind searching for all the info it has on the subject.

Johnny Clegg, musician and activist, pioneer, anthropologist, dancer, songwriter and all-round South African past away on 16th of July 2019.

Johnny Clegg the musician

What was so special about the music of Johnny Clegg?

It was simply infectious, a spirited blend between Western pop and African Zulu rhythms.

In France Johnny Clegg was fondly called Le Zulu Blanc – the white Zulu.

Johnny Clegg sharing a song on stage with Nelson Mandela

Johnny Clegg, musician pioneer

Johnny Clegg was born in the UK, to an English father and Zimbabwean mother who later moved to South Africa and remarried.

It was Johnny’s stepfather, a crime reporter, who took Johnny into the townships of South Africa at an early age thus exposing Johnny to a different cultural perspective.

Johnny formed his first band, Juluka, at the age of 17, with Sipho Mchunu.

Later, Johnny Clegg was one of the first South African musicians to perform in a mixed-race musical performance – this would have been the ’70s. His music received ovations in Europe and America.

Johnny Clegg’s song Scatterlings of Africa was his first entry into the UK Charts. This song was also featured on the soundtrack to the 1988 Oscar-winning film Rain Man.

Copper sun sinking low
Scatterlings and fugitives
Hooded eyes and weary brows
Seek refuge in the night
They are the scatterlings of Africa
Each uprooted one
On the road to Phelamanga
Where the world began
I love the scatterlings of Africa
Each and every one

Johnny Clegg, Scatterlings of Africa

A live history lesson with Johnny Clegg:

In the video above South African Legend Nelson Mandela joins Johnny Clegg on stage during the rendition of Asimbonanga, a song written by Johnny Clegg about Mandela’s 27 years of incarceration.

Johnny Clegg has performed on all four of Nelson Mandela’s 46664 Aids Awareness Concerts in South Africa and in Norway.

Johnny Clegg’s passing away was two days ahead of the Mandela’s 101 years birthday anniversary.

International Awards (as per Johnny Clegg Oficial page)

Johnny Clegg on stage – Credit: Real Concerts

1988 The Mayor’s Office of Los Angeles Award: For the promotion of racial harmony
1988 Le Victoire French Music Industry Award for biggest International record album sold in France between 1987 and 1988 (1.3 million albums)
1989 Honorary Citizen of the town of Angouleme, France
1990-1991 French Music Industry Award for the biggest selling world music album in France
1990 Humanitarian Award: Secretary of State of Ohio, USA
1991 Awarded the CHEVALIER DE L’ORDRE DES ARTS ET DES LETTRES (Knight of Arts and Letters) by the French Government
1993 GRAMMY AWARD nomination for best World Music Album (Heat, Dust and Dreams)
1994 Billboard Music Award Best World Music Album
1996 Medal of Honour – city of Besancon
1998 Kora Awards: Best African Group
2004 Mayoral Medal of Honour from Mayor of Lyon, France, for outstanding relations between the people of Lyon and South Africa
2004 Medal of Honour – Consul General of the Province of Nievre
2004 Medal of Honour – Consul General of the Province of L’Aisne

South African Awards (as per Johnny Clegg Oficial page)

1986 Scotty Award : Master Music Maker
1987 Communication Contribution Award
1987 The Autumn Harvest Music Personality Award
1988 OK TV Best Pop Music Award
1988 CCP Record Special Award : In recognition of exceptional achievement in promotion of South African music internationally
1989 Radio 5 – Loud & Proud Award – South African Music Ambassador of the Year
1990 FOYSA Award (Four Outstanding South Africans) Junior Chamber of Commerce
1999 Avanti Award – Best Music Video “Crocodile Love”

Johnny Clegg, his final world tour

Johnny Clegg’s passing will leave an immense gap in both local and international musical and cultural scenes.

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What the World Cup and Wimbledon Finals, Barack Obama’s Visit to South Africa and Mandela’s Centenary Have Taught Me, #WorldCup #Wimbledon #Obama #Mandela #SA #lessons #tolerance #motivation

What the World Cup and Wimbledon Finals, Barack Obama’s Visit to South Africa and Mandela’s Centenary Have Taught Me

Middle of July is packed with world class sporting and political events. Russia hosted the 2018 FIFA World Cup, South African Kevin Anderson qualified in the Wimbledon 2018 Men’s Single Final (last time South Africa came this far was 97 years ago, Brian Norton in 1921), and former US president Barak Obama will deliver the 2018 Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture, marking the Centenary of Madiba’s birth.

For me, in the FIFA World Cup 2018 the ball really began to roll in the Quarter-finals, with Belgium winning against Brazil 2-1 and Croatia winning on penalties 4-3 against Russia. Then, surprisingly or not, England lost 2-1 against Croatia in the semi-finals.

England’s lost against Croatia taught me that:

Even if you loose, you still achieved so much more simply by participating.

“‘It doesn’t matter that England lost. They came fourth out of all the countries in the world’“:

And that the journey is more important that the destination:

“Just a reminder that England lasted longer than… Germany, Argentina, Portugal, Spain, Brazil, Uruguay, Belgium “:


I was touched by the thank you’s pouring from both sides (fans and team) as a result of The Three Lions’s journey through the Fifa World Cup.

Always remember to thank your supporters, no matter of their numbers or where they might be.

Don’t be afraid to dream.

“To everyone who supported us. To everyone who believed this time was different. To everyone who wasn’t afraid to dream. To everyone who knows this is only the beginning. Thank you. We hope we made you proud.”:

It was touching to hear the English fans singing Oasis as they left the World Cup. That’s the spirit, England!

Pain is easier to endure if shared:

Lessons learned form the Croatian National Soccer Team and their supporters:

To me, the Croatian National Soccer Team was the underdog of the 2018 Fifa World Cup. Their dribbling techniques, sportsmanship, FAIR PLAY and team spirit are equal to none.

Plus they have these amazing supporters.

These Croatian Firefighters have entered in history as they just miss the penalty win for Croatia as Duty calls:

At the end 2018 Fifa Final, when Croatia lost 4-2 against France, the Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović stood in the rain, without any umbrella, to congratulate, hug and wipe the tears of the Croatian soccer players, showing her support, admiration and appreciation towards their outstanding game.

No matter what you do, you will draw strength from your support team. Make sure you have one.

Because at the end of the day…

it matters what you feel in your heart:

From Wimbledon’s Men’s Single Final there was a lot to learn on fair play, on being humble and on how to graciously accept defeat. The words of South African tennis player Kevin Anderson express all this:


Kevin Anderson also teaches us a great lesson on
giving back and remembering one’s roots:

“It means so much for me to have played in the @Wimbledon final. There are so many positives and great memories I will be taking with me. Thanks to everyone from South Africa and around the world for your support and messages”:

and on endurance and perseverance:

On Barack Obama’s visit to South Africa, to deliver the 2018 Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture – celebrating the centenary of Madiba’s birth.

“A winner is a dreamer who never gives up” (Nelson Mandela)

There is a lot to be said about the Nelson Mandela’s legacy, teaching us that change for the better is always possible, never give up hope.

“Even when the odds are long and the times are dark, change is always possible. But only if we’re willing to work for it and fight for it.” @MichelleObama’s message to gathered in South Africa this week:


Certainly history in the making: pay attention and remember.

LIVE STREAM 16th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture by Barack Obama, 17 July 2018:


Former US president Barack Obama will deliver the Mandela lecture in Johannesburg on Tuesday, the 17th of July, with 15 000 people expected to attend.

“It’s not about who we like but what we are trying to address in a particular moment and the audience that we are talking to.”(The Mandela Foundation’s chief executive, Sello Hatang)

Barack Obama will inaugurate his most significant international project as an ex-president, with an announcement on Monday that the Obama Foundation plans to convene 200 young people this July in Johannesburg for five days of meetings, workshops and technical training. (The New York Times) Also, Obama’s visit to South Africa:

“It gives him an opportunity to lift up a message of tolerance, inclusivity and democracy at a time when there are obviously challenges to Mandela’s legacy around the world,” (Benjamin J. Rhodes, a former speechwriter for Obama who still advises him.)

“There’s an enhanced sense of tribalism in the world,” he said. “Our unifying theory is that the best way to promote inclusive and democratic societies is by empowering young people in civil society.”

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion…”(Barack Obama)

What a lesson on tolerance.

You might also like to read:

The 5 Lessons I Learned From Madiba

Keep Your Faith South Africa

 

 

 

 

 

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