One of the country's leading experts on gender, culture, and politics has addressed suggestions by some social media users that the late Johnny Clegg was guilty of cultural appropriation.
University of Cape Town professor Nombiniso Gasa says while it's important not to shy away from questions regarding cultural appropriation, it's equally important to look at the kind of man Clegg was.
Nicknamed 'The White Zulu', Clegg spoke fluent isiZulu and throughout his career proudly performed the maskandi music of Zulu culture.
He didn't just appropriate that identity, he lived it and I think that's what sets him apart from so many people who simply appropriate and take what is suitable for them and what they can use.— Nomboniso Gasa, Adjunct professor - School of Public Law - University of Cape Town
King of cultural appropriation and true Zulu, Johnny Clegg, has died, leaving the left confused about how to deal with the white man who deemed himself Zulu and vocally opposed Apartheid. https://t.co/w6KH91RVIW— Marc Evan Aupiais (@marcaupiais) July 17, 2019
His music was a bridge that brought us together.— Nomboniso Gasa, Adjunct professor - School of Public Law - University of Cape Town
He was a fantastic musician, but he was so much more than that.— Nomboniso Gasa, Adjunct professor - School of Public Law - University of Cape Town
It's tragic that he leaves us at a time when, again, we are so divided as a country.— Nomboniso Gasa, Adjunct professor - School of Public Law - University of Cape Town
Johny Clegg was an activist who worked closely with David Webster, (assassinated in 1989).Clegg was an anthropologist by training. He didn’t study ‘Zulu culture’, he lived with the people. A bridge whose music brought people together. Lala Ngoxolo Mfomkhulu. #EndOfAnEra #1980s ✊🏾— Nomboniso Gasa (@nombonisogasa) July 16, 2019
Listen to the full conversation below: