Artist Profiles: Sipho MChunu

Sipho MChunu with Johnny Clegg

Sipho MChunu Sipho co-founded Juluka with Johnny Clegg in the mid-1970’s. Originally a migrant laborer with a sound traditional music and dance background, Sipho taught Clegg much of the Zulu guitar he plays today. Sipho wrote and co-wrote many of the Juluka hits in the 1970s and 1980s.

Sipho is well-known in South Africa and especially amongst the Zulu-speakers in Natal. He is a shining example of what can be achieved by someone coming from the rural community and is something of a standard-bearer for his People.

When Juluka split in the mid-1980s, Sipho went back to his farm in Kwa-Zulu and while taking care of the affairs of his house and village, recorded and toured with his own band, Amabhubesi (“The Lions”).

When his schedule allows, he gives lectures on traditional Zulu guitar styles at the University Of Natal and adjudicates in competitions for up-and-coming talent in the area. Sipho reformed Juluka with Johnny in 1996 and co-wrote and recorded Ya Vuka Inkunzi (Crocodile Love).

Sipho lives on his farm in Natal with his wives and children and commutes to Johannesburg for rehearsals, recordings, video shoots and other activities.

Discography:

Universal Men (CBS, 1979)
African Litany (MINC, 1981)
Ubuhle Bemvelo (MINC, 1982)
Scatterlings (MINC, 1982)
Work For All (MINC, 1983)
Stand Your Ground (Warner Bros. Records, 1984)
Musa Ukungilandela (MINC, 1984)
Juluka Live (The Good Hope Concerts) MINC, 1986)
Crocodile Love (CNR Music, 1997)



Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several TV specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.
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