johnny clegg the crossing

South African musician and anthropologist, Johnny Clegg. Photo: Wikimedia Commons/ Gorupdebesanez

Proceeds of Johnny Clegg’s tribute song go towards alleviating SA education crisis [video]

Over 50 local and international artists teamed up last year to record the iconic Johnny Clegg song ‘The Crossing’.

johnny clegg the crossing

South African musician and anthropologist, Johnny Clegg. Photo: Wikimedia Commons/ Gorupdebesanez

The talented group came together to raise money for a fund in Johnny’s honour meant ‘to help alleviate the education crisis in South Africa’.

Clegg, a South African icon and international star, retired from performing after his world tour in 2017 to focus on his battle with cancer after he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2015.

Johnny Clegg – A true icon

Clegg’s is a uniquely South African sound which marries western pop sensibilities with the distinctive rhythms of Africa. Over a long and successful career Clegg has sold over five million albums, winning countless awards.

Clegg grew to prominence as a musical activist playing in Jaluka and Savuka, whose music was banned from radio stations in South Africa because of its non-European sound and the multi-racial band.

The single, which was recorded and released last year, features the talents of top local artists like Ard Matthews, Arno Carstens, Jimmy Nevis, Vicky Sampson, Lira, Judith Sephuma and David Kramer.

In addition, international artists Peter Gabriel, Mike Rutherford of Mike and the Mechanics fame and Dave Matthews who is actually originally from South Africa also appear on the single.

Giving back

After hearing the single, Clegg said:

“I am speechless, thank you so much. This is an amazing moment for me – to have so many of my peers acknowledge the song and its sentiments, and that they can use that to further something much bigger than all of us. Thank you.”

Proceeds raised from sales of the single will be distributed by the Click Foundation. The Click Foundation runs national education programmes aimed at assisting South African children with their education goals.

According to the Click Foundation, nearly 80% of Grade 4 learnings can’t read for meaning, and it’s one of the major factors leading to poor learning outcomes. This is where the Click Foundation comes in.

“The Click Foundation deploys online English literacy programmes in under-privileged primary schools across South Africa. The programmes offer young learners the opportunity to work at their own pace through fun and enjoyable activities, navigating their learning journey by means of technology.”

Through this initiative, the Click Foundation addresses the literacy crisis, while also equipping students with technological skills, to enable them to achieve success throughout their school career and as young adults entering the workforce.

To date, the Click Foundation also created more than 150 jobs and aim to change the lives of at least 1m learners by 2022. But hey, don’t take our word for it, see for yourself.

Watch: Click Foundation made a difference in Somi’s life

Watch: The Crossing – Friends of Johnny Clegg

The single is available digitally and can be streamed or downloaded now from Apple Music, iTunes, Google Playstore, Spotify and Deezer.