FILE PHOTO: South African singer Johnny Clegg performs during the South Africa Gala night at the Monte Carlo opera. Picture: Reuters

After news had reached social media on the passing of music legend Johnny Clegg, Twitter went into overdrive. 

Clegg, who had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2015, died at his family home in Johannesburg.

"Johnny leaves deep footprints in the hearts of every person that considers him/herself to be an African. He showed us what it was to assimilate to and embrace other cultures without losing your identity," said a statement released by Roddy Quin, manager, friend and family spokesperson.

"An anthropologist that used his music to speak to every person. With his unique style of music he traversed cultural barriers like few others. In many of us he awakened awareness."

But it's been the outpouring of condolences and messages of support for his family that has South Africans digging up old footage of Clegg back in his heyday. If the younger generation had no idea of his contribution to SA music before, now they know.