South African music legend Johnny Clegg will be in Port Elizabeth in November for two nights on his Final Journey Tour around the world, with the Eastern Cape shows to be held at The Boardwalk.
Nearly 40 years after he began one of music’s most remarkable careers, Clegg is embarking on his Final World Tour, titled The Final Journey.
Due to public demand and sold out shows in the first phase of the world tour, Clegg has added additional South African and London shows to his Final Journey World Tour, with a second show at the Grand Arena in Cape Town on Friday June 30, a return season of three extra shows at the Teatro at Montecasino from August 10-12; and a second show at The Eventim Apollo in London on August 18.
“Johnny Clegg is more than just one of this country’s finest musicians and entertainers.
“He is a national treasure who has brought together all South Africans and reminded us of what makes us great as a country,” Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa said.
Clegg was diagnosed with cancer in 2015 and underwent chemotherapy treatment.
Throughout the treatment, he continued to tour locally and internationally, undertaking a nine week tour of the USA and Canada last year.
Clegg is currently finishing a new album and his autobiography.
As he is in remission, Clegg has decided to use this opportunity to perform a final set of concerts in South Africa and overseas to thank his fans for their support over the 35-year long journey that spans his career.
Algoa FM is presenting the two shows in Nelson Mandela Bay.
“Without a doubt, Johnny Clegg is one of the greatest performers South Africa has ever produced,” Algoa FM operations director Alfie Jay said.
“It is truly hard to imagine that this will be the last time we get to see him perform.
“Nonetheless, we are looking forward to it with the ‘Spirit of a Great Heart’!”
Through his bands Juluka and Savuka, Clegg pioneered a uniquely South African hybrid music during a time of cultural and racial segregation.
His music always offered a vision of how South Africans could find each other and the possibilities of a non-racial future.
For this reason, the South African leg of the tour has tremendous import for him as it was South Africa and all South Africans that shaped him as an artist.
The tour will be built around Clegg’s unparalleled repertoire of songs, which began with the release of Juluka’s Universal Men in 1979 and continued through the Savuka years and his more recent solo work.
Clegg’s many different hits and live favourites will be brought to life by the biggest production ever created for a Clegg live show, supported by his world-class live band.
A highlight of the shows will be the different styles of dance that have been integral to Clegg’s life and work, ever since he learnt the fundamentals of Zulu music and traditional Zulu Inhlangwinini dancing with Charlie Mzila, while still a teenager.
Clegg said: “This will be my final set of public performances for my fans in South Africa and around the world.
“I am immensely excited to be able to bring to them an autobiographical, audiovisual and intimate account of my life through my music and The Dance.”
Clegg’s recorded output as part of Juluka, Savuka and solo has earned him millions of record sales, countless awards and nominations (including a Grammy nomination) and multiple international releases, all eagerly consumed by a truly global audience.
He was the forerunner of combining Western musical styles with African ones, sparking a revolution in South African music that can be still be heard in the work of artists today.
Most potently, Clegg’s ability to illuminate the connectedness of all human beings through his music meant he was a pioneer of social cohesion in South Africa.
He also provided a portal for international audiences to gain a deeper understanding of the anti-apartheid movement and the journey towards, and ultimately, to freedom.
For this, Clegg has received many different honours including an OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire), the South African Order of Ikhamanga and the French Chevalier des Arts et Lettres (Knight of Arts and Letters), as well as several honorary doctorates.
Additional South African and international dates are set to be added later in the year for what promises to be the most powerfully emotional live shows of a truly singular South African – a dancer, anthropologist, singer, songwriter, academic, and activist like no other.
Tickets are available at Computicket.com or by calling 083-915-8000.