Overcoming all these obstacles, the band scored their first hit with the single ‘Woza Friday’ in 1978, by which time they had built up a national following through their formidably powerful live appearances, which included wholly convincing displays of traditional Zulu indlamu (foot stamping) dancing by Clegg. They also succeeded in persuading the authorities to allow them to tour overseas, and in the early 80s performed in the UK, Europe and the USA, where their 1982 album Scatterlings, was released in 1984. During their lifetime, the group recorded seven albums, including the acclaimed debut Universal Men, a musical journey through the life of a Zulu migrant worker, before breaking up in 1985, following Mchunu’s decision to leave Johannesburg and the music business and return to the bush to run his family’s small cattle farm (1985 also brought a European Top 40 hit with ‘Scatterlings Of Africa’).
In 1986 Clegg re-emerged fronting a new group, Savuka (‘We Have Arisen’), which continued in the direction set out by Juluka and, in the increasingly liberal political climate of South Africa in the late 80s, found it much easier to tour both there and overseas. Clegg’s solo career had been launched in 1985 with Third World Child, but it was an album of the same name recorded by Savuka which became an international success, selling over a million copies. A sold out tour of France followed, before stints in the USA and Canada. In the process he became one of the first African stars to appear on The Johnny Carson Show. The 1989 recording Cruel, Crazy Beautiful World saw Clegg upgrade the band’s sound in a modern Los Angeles studio, though his lyrical concerns about South Africa, brilliantly extolled in ‘Woman Be My Country’ and the title track, remained undiluted.
Clegg recorded one further album with Savuka, 1993’s Heat, Dust And Dreams, which was informed by the ending of the apartheid system in South Africa and the assassination of former band member Dudu. Clegg reunited with Sipho Mchunu in the mid-90s to tour and record under the Juluka banner, before reverting to solo work in the late 90s. He returned to the studio in the new millennium to complete the 2002 solo release, New World Survivor. The following year’s A South African Story captured a spellbinding live show at the Nelson Mandela Theatre.