East Coast Gold presenters remember Johnny Clegg

East Coast Gold presenters remember Johnny Clegg

East Coast Gold presenters share special moments they enjoyed with the legend Johnny Clegg before his death three years ago.

Johnny Clegg
Johnny Clegg

On the eve of the third anniversary of Johnny Clegg’s death, some of East Coast Gold's presenters have shared their memories of Clegg, as well as photos they took with the iconic singer. 

The legendary musician died on 16 July 2019 after battling with cancer. He left a mark that can never be erased. 

Johnny did not only use his music to entertain, but he was instrumental in uniting the different races in South Africa. 

His music is a favourite on East Coast Gold and many of our presenters had the privilege of engaging with him on a closer level when he was alive. 

Below they share some of their fondest memory of the star who was also known as Le Zoulou Blanc (French for "The White Zulu").

READ: Remembering the legendary Johnny Clegg

Gordon Graham

I can't believe it's been three years since we lost this musical Icon.  The first ever live concert I went to at 16-years-old was at the old Standard Bank Arena. I was overwhelmed by the massive stage and huge crowd. I stood there enthralled by Mango Groove, who were the opening act for the next artist who would become my all time favourite SA Artist.  

After an excellent performance by Claire and the Gang from Mango Groove the lights went dark, the electricity in the crowd grew to fever pitch and when the first bars of "Great Heart' rang out the massive crowd went wild. 

On came Johnny Clegg, 'The White Zulu', with his incredible (and massive) band and spent the next two-and-a-half hours moving us in the audience, we sang along, we listened to his message of equality and we cried at the stories depicting the stories of a South Africa that only he could tell in his unique and musical way. 

It wasn't until many years later whilst working on a radio station in the Eastern Cape that I would get to meet him and spend an hour chatting on-air (and off) with this genius of a man. At the time he had already been diagnosed (with cancer) and in fact this was his final tour, in a way he knew his time under the African sun was drawing to a close. Later on that night we attended what would be his last show in the Eastern Cape and wow, just wow!!! Illness could not hold back the talent, again tears and smiles and singing along with this absolute Legend of South African music!  

We miss you, Johnny!

Johnny Clegg and Gordon
Johnny Clegg and Gordon

Dave Guselli

I met Johnny Clegg years and years ago. I had the honour and privilege of interviewing him more than once (on Capital 604) and more than once on East Coast Radio. We became mates.

The last time I saw him, I introduced him on stage for a New Year's Eve bash at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens in Cape Town and we chatted for about 40 minutes before he went on stage. 

[He was] Very, very humble and absolutely fantastic entertainer. A true South African musical legend missed by many many people, including me. 

Dave Guselli and Johnny Clegg
Dave Guselli and Johnny Clegg

Jane Linley-Thomas

I've always loved Johnny Clegg because his music has the ability to transcend creed, race, denomination and religion and we all just kind of get to be together.

He certainly left an indelible mark. 

Jane and Johnny Clegg
Jane and Johnny Clegg

Guy McDonald

My love for Johnny Clegg stems from a mutual fascination of African culture, his ability to bridge cultures and the few private conversations we shared. 

I hosted several of his concerts as an MC and miss his wisdom and incredible talent.

Guy McDonald and Johnny
Guy McDonald and Johnny

Guy and Damon Beard have a special tribute to Johnny Clegg at 9am and 3pm on Saturday.

 READ: Two legends united: Johnny Clegg and Nelson Mandela dance together on stage

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