Johnny Clegg – song for Mandela

Needing to write I sent this as an email today to the employees at the company I am employed at. Due to responses I received I decided to break my blogging silence.  I want to apologize to especially those who commented on my last post for me simply vanishing off the radar and effectively ignoring the blogging community.  Not doing the Afrikaans blogging challenges and the Lens-Artist photo challenge made my life emptier. But it does not mean I have started blogging again. I will however respond this time round should you wish to leave comments. However I will not go into detail on why I stopped blogging, for in doing so I would have to be disloyal.


Today is Mandela day.
Two days ago was Johnny Clegg’s last day

In 1999 in Germany, Nelson Mandela joined Johnny Clegg on stage while he was singing Asimbonanga (we have not seen him)
A song he wrote for Mandela (before it became popular to write songs for Mandela)

Mandela’s shuffle dance and hearty smile is inspiring
Please listen to the song (google: Johnny Clegg song for Mandela)
When asked by Clegg if he wants to say something, Mandela responded:

“It is music and dancing which make me at peace with the world and myself”

This must be the reason why Madiba is universally loved by teenagers!

Clegg remarks at the start of the video that in 1986 South Africa was in a State of emergency.
As a member of 5 South African Infantry Battalion I was a tool of that State of emergency.
Ironically during basic training we listened to Juluka’s:

I’m sitting on the top of Kilimanjaro
I can see a new tomorrow
(Without seeing the tomorrow he was referring to)

Two months thereafter Colonel Jock “Promises” came to visit us troepies (soldiers) during field training.
The purpose was to motivate (indoctrinate?) us.
I took him on regarding the factual correctness of his statement that Mandela was not a leader of the ANC as that status according to him was fabricated by the press.

No, I was not a Mandela supporter at the time but a bit more informed than the average troepie.
The purpose was actually selfish: to make his speech longer so the we need not do the scheduled physical training (it worked)!
But for me this very tentative 1986/Mandela/Clegg link is special

But all of us share in such a tentative link. Nelson Mandela would have been 101 years old today – the age of Sanlam.

Last year 50 musicians collaborated in an excellent tribute to Johnny
Recorded in Bellville Studios, nogal
(Google: The crossing collaboration)

From “The Crossing” by Johnny Glegg:

Inside of him a boy looks up to his father
For a sign or an approving eye
Oh, it’s funny how those once so close and now gone
Can still so affect our lives

I do not think it is destined for all of us to be revolutionaries like Madiba and Clegg
But all of our lives affect those of others, even after our deaths.

Hamba kahle (Go well) Madiba and Johnny

Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika (God bless Africa)

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35 thoughts on “Johnny Clegg – song for Mandela

  1. Self goed om te weet ek doen al daardie dinge. ‘n Blikoor van geboorte soos ek is van nature ‘n blikslaer. Ek sluk net bietjie swaar aan ou want aangesien my gehoor nie so lekker is nie klink dit soos oud…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for this post honouring both Johnny Clegg and Madiba. They will forever be in our hearts.
    Glad to hear that you are okay Abrie – I was concerned when we didn’t hear from you at all. Wishing you all the best.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ag weet jy, ek erken – ek het nog nie eers die inhoud gelees nie, ek kom eers dadelik kommentaar om te sê DIS SO LEKKER OM JOU WEER TE SIEN!

    Ek hoop rerig dit gaan goed met jou en jou se mense Abrie.

    Ek gaan nou eers jou inskrywing lees.

    Vrede en lig vir jou.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Heartfelt post, Abrie! Happy to have read it. I’m kinda sporadic here these days.

    Coincidentally, my WhatsApp status today is about how I’d like to be remembered when I’m dead. We do touch people’s lives even when we do not become famous legends.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Om een of ander rede het ek nie hierdie blog dadelik raak gesien nie, maar ek is mos maar die agterossie! Dit was goed om weer jou skrywe te lees. En goed om van jou te hoor. Maak weer so…dis soos manna vir die siel.

    Liked by 1 person

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