After one of South Africa’s most celebrated musicians yesterday announced his final tour before retirement, it has been revealed that one of the stops on Johnny Clegg’s Final Journey World Tour will be Dubai Opera.
It’s one of just two shows announced that will take place outside South Africa – the other being in London in August.
Clegg rose to fame almost 40 years ago with his bands Juluka and Savuka. His unique sound blended Western pop with traditional Zulu rhythms, at a time when tensions were high in a segregated South Africa. His music was revolutionary and a voice for the anti-apartheid movement across the world. So much so that Clegg has received numerous honours, including an OBE, the South African Order of Ikhamanga and the French Chevalier des Arts et Lettres (Knight of Arts and Letters), not to mention a number of honorary doctorates.
Clegg was diagnosed with cancer back in 2015. Now in remission, he has officially announced his retirement in order to spend more time with his family.
"This will be my final set of public performances for my fans in South Africa and around the world,” he says. “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."
Clegg’s Final Journey World Tour will be his biggest production yet, featuring hits that span his entire career from the release of his first album with Juluku, Universal Men in 1979, right up to his most recent releases from his 2010 solo album, Human. He will be backed by a live band, while the show will also showcase different styles of traditional dance – such as Zulu Inhlangwinini – that have been a deeply integral part of his music.
“Johnny Clegg’s music has meant so much to South Africans and lovers of his sound around the world for more than 30 years,” says Dubai Opera’s chief executive Jasper Hope. “I am absolutely delighted he has agreed to include Dubai Opera on his Final Journey World Tour to give audiences here the chance to enjoy his live show one last time.”
From Dhs250. September 20. Dubai Opera, Downtown Dubai, www.dubaiopera.com (04 440 8888).