Johnny Clegg On World Cafe | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : World Cafe

Filed Under:

Johnny Clegg On World Cafe

Johnny Clegg's music has been a powerful force for integration in a divided country, earning him the nickname "Le Zoulou Blanc" ("The White Zulu").

Growing up in culturally diverse but segregated Johannesburg, South Africa, Clegg developed a playing style that combined Zulu and Celtic folk traditions. In the '70s and '80s, Clegg's bands Juluka and Savuka brought black and white musicians together onstage, an illegal act under Apartheid. As a result, their music was banned from radio play and concerts put them at risk of arrest. But on the strength of their unique sound and powerful political messages, their music became a word-of-mouth hit.

In the late '80s, Clegg became famous throughout South Africa and beyond with "Asimbonaga," a song that became an anthem for the fight to release jailed anti-Apartheid activist (and future president) Nelson Mandela. Today, Clegg is one of the most famous South African musicians in the world. He recently wrapped up a U.S. tour in support of his latest solo album, Human, his first state-side release in 14 years.

"What kept us going is we knew we were making a new kind of music," Clegg tells host David Dye. Hear their conversation, plus a live performance, on today's World Cafe.

Copyright 2011 WXPN-FM. To see more, visit http://www.xpn.org/.

NPR

Picasso, Nazis And A Daring Escape In 'My Grandfather's Gallery'

As a little girl, Anne Sinclair knew Pablo Picasso. She talks with NPR's Scott Simon about why she didn't want the master to paint her picture, and her new memoir, My Grandfather's Gallery.
NPR

Syrup Induces Pumpkin-Spiced Fever Dreams

Hugh Merwin, an editor at Grub Street, bought a 63-ounce jug of pumpkin spice syrup and put it in just about everything he ate for four days. As he tells NPR's Scott Simon, it did not go well.
NPR

Texas Gubernatorial Candidates Go The Border To Court Voters

Republicans have won every statewide office in Texas for 20 years, but the growing Hispanic population tends to vote Democrat, and the GOP's survival may depend on recruiting Hispanic supporters.
NPR

Tech Week: Smartphone Privacy, Cyberstalking, Alibaba's Big Debut

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba makes the biggest debut on the NYSE ever. The details, and the other tech stories that piqued our interest, are in this week's roundup.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.