Johnny Clegg a beacon of light during dark days of apartheid - Savuka drummer

Johnny Clegg's song Asimbonanga, written for Nelson Mandela and performed with his group Savuka, became an anti-apartheid anthem during the 80s.

After the music legend's death on Tuesday from pancreatic cancer, former Savuka drummer Derek de Beer joins Refilwe Moloto to reminisce about what Clegg meant to South Africans during those dark days.

RELATED: 'May we repeat Asimbonanga, with the words, we remember you, we saw you, Johnny'

In the troubled times in South Africa we ran the gauntlet and Johnny gave his everything...

Derek de Beer, Former Savuka drummer

When everybody was trying to find their way, Johnny had messages in his songs and the way he spoke and just his presence. He was like a little beacon of light for the public to draw from.

Derek de Beer, Former Savuka drummer

On a more personal note, De Beer fondly remembers Clegg's fun sense of humour and how they were drawn closer as the non-smokers in the band who'd sit together at the back of the bus.

We would talk about the stars, we would talk about aliens, we would talk about anything... We shared some unbelievably private moments together.

Derek de Beer, Former Savuka drummer

Listen to the conversation as de Beer recalls his experiences with the beloved musician:


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