[203] Hooded Eyes Weary Brows

Completion Date: 29 June 2019
Medium: Paint & ink on cardboard
Dimensions: 30 x 40 inches

I have just head that Johnny Clegg, the South African musician, died today in Jo’burg. I finished this piece just a few weeks ago. It is based on one of his songs, Scatterlings of Africa.

I first saw Johnny Clegg playing with Juluka in Joburg in 1982 or 1983. My brother and I went to see him somewhere in downtown. We were amongst the only white people in the audience. Juluka was the soundtrack to our youth, and being an Apartheid-defying, mixed race band, was an inspiration to our entire generation. Through the State of Emergency while we were students, Juluka kept playing. Jam-packed, sweat-covered concerts at Green Level UCT, all the way to to seeing him onstage in Paris and Wembley, and then of course seeing Mandela singing along with him onstage to Asimbonanga.

Copper sun sinking low
Scatterlings and fugitives
Hooded eyes and weary brows
Seek refuge in the night

They are the scatterlings of Africa
Each uprooted one
On the road to Phelamanga
Where the world began
I love the scatterlings of Africa
Each and every one
In their hearts a burning hunger
Beneath the copper sun

Ancient bones from Olduvai
Echoes of the very first cry
“Who made me here and why
Beneath the copper sun?”
African idea
African idea
Make the future clear
Make the future clear

And we are the scatterlings of Africa
Both you and I
We are on the road to Phelamanga
Beneath a copper sky
And we are the scatterlings of Africa
On a journey to the stars
Far below, we leave forever
Dreams of what we were

Songwriter: Johnny Clegg, Juluka