Quotes from Johnny Clegg

September 06, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

The anthropologist and musical genius Johnny Clegg who mixed maskandi and western instruments with Zulu and English lyrics and traditional Zulu dance wrote a wonderful autobiography "Scatterling of Africa" which was published after his death in 2019.  There are many passages I could quote, but here are a couple that stood out to me:


"All languages have their own unique way of describing the world, with its multiple flavours and nuances, darkness and light. Learning a new language can be a kind of rebirth, adding to what we know in our home language. I believe the more languages we speak the more layered and enriched our identities become."


"The only insight you find on top of a mountain is the insight your brought up with you. It was always there, silent and waiting for you to look inward. The climb is rough and it tears away each layer of the self until only raw, unmediated willpower is left. And when you reach the summit, the self eroded in the physical exertion, you look out across the world and suddenly an insight bursts into your mind.... Mountains don't carry wisdom. They only help you see your own truth by unraveling your defences."


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