Juluka


Juluka is the Zulu word for ‘sweat’ . Juluka is also the name of a music group. There are two people in Juluka. They are Sipho Mchunu and Jonathan Clegg.


Sipho is a gardener, and Jonathan is a teacher. Sipho and Jonathan have played music together for eleven years. They have made two records. The records are called ‘Universal Men’ and ‘African Litany’. Their music is a mixture of white and black music.


Learn and Teach wanted to know more about Sipho Mchunu. So we went to talk to Sipho.


Learn and Teach: Where were you born? Sipho: I was born in 1951 at Kranskop in Natal. I am the youngest of 10 children.


Learn and Teach: When did you start to sing? Sipho: When I was a little boy I looked after my father’s cattle. I sang while I looked after the cattle. When I was still a child, I sang and danced at weddings in my village. When I was older, I came to Johannesburg. I sang with the hostel singing groups.


Learn and Teach: When did you meet Jonathan? Sipho: I met Jonathan in 1970. One Saturday afternoon I was walking down a street in Yeoville, Johannesburg. I was playing my guitar. Jonathan came out of his flat. He wanted to play the guitar with me. We played guitar together. He played very well. I was surprised. After that our friendship grew.


Learn and Teach: When did Juluka start to play for people? Sipho: One day Des and Dawn Lindberg asked us to play at their house. They are popular singers. After that we started to play for people.


Learn and Teach: How do you feel about singing with a white man? Sipho: I do not see Jonathan as a white man. He and I are like brothers. We want to make people happy through our music. We want people to love each other. Because we sing together, we show people how they must love each other.


Learn and Teach: Are you married? Sipho:   Yes. I have two wives. They live at Kranskop. I was lucky to get two good women to look after my home. They make my home comfortable for visitors. They have never been to a Juluka concert. But they like our records.


Learn and Teach: You have made some money from your concerts and records. Are you going to buy a car with the money? Sipho : No I will never buy a car. If I buy a car, I will never go home to my people. One day, I will go home to help my people. I am going to buy a tractor for farming. And I am going to drill wells. Then we can get water for our farms. I do not want to live in the city for long.


Learn and Teach: Juluka went to Germany this year. What did you think of Germany? Sipho : Germany was like any other country. I was glad to come back home.


Learn and Teach : What are Juluka ‘s plans for the future? Sipho: We haven’t got any plans for the future. What happens will happen.

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