South African legend Johnny Clegg is coming to Dubai Opera

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The living legend and former anti-apartheid activist will be visiting Dubai Opera on his final world tour…

South African expats, we have a treat for you – it’s just been announced that legendary South African singer/songwriter Johnny Clegg is coming to Dubai for one night only this September.

And it will be a refined affair, with Clegg set to play at Dubai Opera on Wednesday September 20 as part of his final world tour The Final Journey.

Those of you not from South Africa may not have heard of Johnny Clegg, but the British-born South African is a bonafide legend in his home country (and he’s also got a huge following in France too, where he’s often called The White Zulu).

Here he is on stage with the one and only Nelson Mandela (challenge: watch/listen to this without getting goosebumps)…

Johnny Clegg’s career spans 40 years, and in the ’70s and ’80s he and his two bands Jaluka and Savuka broke the Apartheid laws by performing together on stage. In fact, he and his original musical partner Sipho Mchunu had to use touring to gain an audience as their music was banned on State-run South African radio.

They built a loyal following by performing at universities, at labour hostels and in private homes – because if their performance spaces were too public they would be shut down by police (they were arrested more than once).

His sound blends western pop rock with Celtic traditions and the many different rhythms of South Africa, particularly Zulu beats.

In fact, Clegg is one of the many prominent South Africans that choose to bring the anti-Apartheid movement to the forefront, spreading a vision of a contemporary South Africa across the globe. His work and activism has seen him been awarded with honorary doctorates, as well as an OBE.

His show in Dubai Opera is going to be a huge production featuring his greatest hits, a live band and, of course, plenty of dance. The set list on the night will go all the way back to Juluka’s Universal Men in 1979.

“This will be my final set of public performances for my fans in SA and around the world,” Clegg said of the tour. “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.”

We’re certainly looking forward to seeing this one live…

Oh, and this one too…

Tickets will start from Dhs250 and will go on sale at 9am on Thursday April 27. More info on website

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Photo: Supplied