It has been a long time since anyone in South Africa, or the world for that matter, has been able to pull off a collective anthem that holds any real resonance or deep meaning. On Wednesday a group of 50 artists released a rousing and moving tribute to artist, musician, anthropologist, cultural icon and activist Johnny Clegg, who has been living with pancreatic cancer since 2015.
The rearrangement and performance of Clegg's 1993 classic, The Crossing, was recorded in Cape Town in September 2018, not only as a tribute to Clegg, but also as a kick-start to an educational fund, Friends of Johnny Clegg, to honour his "biggest passion", education.
Clegg has always viewed teaching as a vocation and has touched the lives of thousands through his unique engagement with his academic field, anthropology.
Wits University describes its alumnus thus: "Johnny Clegg's life and productions give meaning to the multiculturalism and social integration South Africans yearn for. It is therefore fitting that his alma mater confers on him its highest honour, the degree of Doctor of Music honoris causa."