An ode to Johnny Clegg, and 5 more highlights from this week's Vrye Weekblad
Johannesburg, July 2019: Jonathan Paul Clegg's lifelong friend and musical collaborator Sipho Mchunu chokes back the tears as he bids a final graveside farewell to his best friend. He raised his clenched fists, almost in frustration, looks to the heavens and says: "Hamba kahle!" Then he pleads with Johnny not to fear the journey on which he has now embarked: "Don't be afraid to meet your fathers, Skeyi, and your comrades, mfowethu [my friend]."
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Mchunu calls Clegg by his tribal name, Skeyi – borrowed from the "skei" part of the word "jukskei", referring to the peg holding a yoke in place on an ox. This bull has at last been freed of the yoke. A palpable silence descends on the small group of people gathered here in a corner of the Highveld.
In this week's edition of Afrikaans digital weekly Vrye Weekblad, Chris du Plessis, a friend of Clegg's for four decades, looks back on the rock legend's remarkable life – from his search for a father figure to sci-fi movies and a Zulu chief called Queen Victoria.
"In the past four decades, [Clegg] had to face the prejudices of apartheid; struggle through the swamp of the cultural boycott; stumble – and rise again – in the merciless world of international business; lose, and regain, a father; bury some of his closest friends; pick up the pieces after Juluka's sudden disbanding; and the rejection of Zulu culture - his primary source of inspiration," writes Du Plessis.
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5 other must-read articles in this week's Vrye Weekblad
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