logo
View all portraits

Johnny Clegg

“Your songs unite the crowds who throng the rugby stadiums and pack the public arenas of your beloved South Africa and echo around the world.” - Jim Yong Kim, World Bank President

Adrian Steirn’s portrait of Johnny Clegg, taken at the Cradle of Humankind, shows the musician brandishing a spear adorned with the words ‘music’ and ‘anthropology’ – two interests that have shaped his life’s work. The spear completes the portrait’s symbolism and is reference to his nickname “the white Zulu”, which he got from his biracial bands and mixing of Zulu and English lyrics and African and Western sounds, linking to the Zulu culture that Clegg adores.

“I became fascinated with the concept of a man who started off as an anthropologist and ended up as an incredible musician. The wooden spear with those letters became the statement for the portrait,” says Steirn.