Ndithanda Mzansi Johnny Clegg!


By Jillian Penaluna

Released in the year that South Africa celebrated its 10 year
anniversary of democracy, The Best of Johnny Clegg and Savuka is a
riveting testament to South Africa?s long battle against apartheid.
British-born singer, songwriter, vocalist, instrumentalist,
anthropologist and dancer, Johnny Clegg, is also a long time advocate
for human rights in South Africa. The album In my African Dream stands
to commemorate the 10 year anniversary of the country?s victory
against apartheid. Clegg has a large portfolio of work that has
brought him as well as his band, the Savuka?s, international
acclaim. This album is a carefully crafted mélange of all their
greatest hits.

Clegg?s music incongruously blends a melting pot of mbaqanga
(township jive), Western rock, Zulu rhythms and a touch of Celtic
flair to create the unique sound that has become synonymous with South
African culture. This timeless compilation of Clegg?s greatest hits
comes at a significant period in South Africa?s fledgling democracy.
It venerates struggle stalwarts such as Nelson Mandela,Steve Biko,
Victoria Mxenge and Neil Aggett with songs such as Asimbonanga which
pay homage to the sacrifices these heroes made for South Africa?s
freedom while at the same time re-iterating the importance of everyone
having a fair vote with songs such as One man, one vote.

Other songs of note include The Crossing, Impi, and Great Heart which
make your ears pulsate with the true cadence of Africa?s diversity.
The bilingual aspect to his music has allowed his voice to become
ubiquitous within South African society. Almost every song on the
album sounds like angels making love in your ears. The album
encapsulates the personality of Mama Africa and appeals to the world
to embrace South African culture, music and history.

Overall, Clegg has insightfully chosen some of his most poignant songs
to showcase his journey through the dark days of apartheid as well as
his consequent success in the aftermath of our first democratic
elections. If you want an album that will sincerely show off the
thrust of Clegg?s musical ability, style and personality then this
album will scratch that itch. It?s the perfect album to blast on the
airwaves, beer in hand, braai tongs at the ready, the smell of freshly
mown grass in your nose and the African sun on your face. What
better way to celebrate the majesty of South Africa?

20100722 PALEO J CLEGG (9) NB

pic taken by: midnightxp/damien (flickr)




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