South Africa’s Johnny Clegg brings high-energy music to Wingate University

Johnny Clegg
Contact: Kim Williams, Communications Writer
704-233-8320 or

Laura Kratt, Director of Cultural Events
704-233-8302 or

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Wingate, N.C. – Johnny Clegg, one of South Africa’s most celebrated sons, is a singer, songwriter, dancer, anthropologist and a musical activist. His music, which is a blend of Western pop music and African Zulu rhythm, has broken through all the barriers in his own country. The Johnny Clegg Band will bring their performance to The Batte Center at Wingate University on Friday, March 28, 2014 at 7:30 p.m.

Johnny Clegg has sold more than five million albums worldwide. He has won numerous national and international awards for his music and for his outspoken views on apartheid, his perspectives on migrant workers in South Africa and the general situation in the world today. Johnny Clegg’s history is as bold, colorful and dashing as the country he has called home for more than 40 years.

Born in Bacup, near Rochdale, England in 1953, he was brought up in Zimbabwe and South Africa. While lecturing anthropology at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, Clegg worked on blending English lyrics and Western melodies with Zulu musical structures alongside his songwriting and performance partner, Sipho Mchunu. Clegg and Mchunu called their band, Juluka. Since their music was censored by the state-owned radio, their only way to access an audience was through touring. His second band was Savuka which mixed African music with a wider music base and international rock sounds. Savuka’s first album (Third World Child, 1987) broke international sales records in France, Switzerland and Belgium in 1988. They went on to record four additional albums and tour extensively in Europe and North America, breaking all attendance records in France in 1988 and 1989. Human, Clegg’s most recent album was released in 2010.

On tour he continues to perform his greatest hits from the past 30 years, as well as new unplugged songs from his forthcoming album. Clegg’s live shows also include stories and tributes to the late former South African president, Nelson Mandela (1918-2013). Johnny Clegg performed at all four of Nelson Mandela’s 46664 Aids Awareness concerts in South Africa and Norway.

Opening for Johnny Clegg Band is his Clegg’s son Jesse Clegg, a South African alternative rock artist whose 2008 debut album, When I Wake Up, and his 2011 follow up, Life On Mars, have both made the 25-year-old a platinum-selling success in his home country.

Tickets are $25 and can be purchased online at or by calling the Batte Center Box Office at 704-233-8300 or Carolina Tix at 704-372-1000. Tickets can also be purchased in person at the Batte Center Box Office Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. on the Wingate Campus.

The Batte Center
Opened in 1999, the George A. Batte, Jr. Fine Arts Center presents events in the McGee Theatre, Plyler-Griffin Recital Hall and Austin Auditorium. Located just a short five minute drive from Monroe, The Batte is just off of Highway 74 and only 29 miles southeast of downtown Charlotte. Free parking is plentiful and all three performance spaces offer full wheelchair accessibility. Learn more at

Wingate University
Wingate University, ranked as the 8th "best value" in the South by U.S. News & World Report, serves more than 3,000 students on three campuses in Wingate, Charlotte and Hendersonville, N.C. Founded in 1896, the University offers 35 undergraduate majors, 37 minors and career concentrations, numerous pre-professional programs, graduate degrees in business, accounting, education, physician assistant studies and sport administration, and doctorates in pharmacy, physical therapy and education. With a 14 to 1 student/teacher ratio, Wingate students gain the tools and support needed to excel in academics and apply that learning toward an extraordinary career and life.

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In addition to a robust intramural athletics program, Wingate student athletes compete in 22 NCAA Division II sports. The University has won the South Atlantic Conference Echols Athletic Excellence Award for the past seven years. For more information, go to