Juluka was a South African music band formed in 1969 by Johnny Clegg and Sipho Mchunu. Juluka means "sweat", and was the name of a bull owned by Mchunu.
At the age of 14, Clegg met Zulu street musician Charlie Mzila, who taught him Zulu music and dancing over the following two years. In 1969 Clegg and Mchunu met in Johannesburg when the latter went there to find work. The 18 year-old Mchunu challenged the 16 year-old Clegg to a guitar contest, and the two became friends. Soon, they were performing together on the streets and in what few other unofficial venues a multi-racial band could safely play in under apartheid. They were forced to keep a low profile and their success came from word of mouth instead of through traditional publicity. Clegg himself was arrested and beaten up by the police on several occasions for his activities and also for the band's lyrics.
In 1976, they released their debut single, "Woza Friday", followed three years later by a critically acclaimed album, Universal Men. The album's poetic lyrics were strongly influenced by John Berger's A Seventh Man as well as Pablo Neruda and Jean-Paul Sartre. Expanding to a quartet, they released a second album, African Litany, in late 1981. The album's lead single, "Impi", with its pointedly political lyrics about a defeat of the colonial British army by the Zulus at the Battle of Isandlwana, was banned by South African radio but became an underground hit. In contemporary South Africa it is often associated with national sports teams. The album garnered them their first international attention, and they were able to successfully tour in Europe and North America in 1982 and 1983. However, in June 1983, the British music magazine, NME, reported that they were initially banned by the Musicians Union as, ..."since it would not be possible to approve one of our bands working in South Africa, there is no possibility of an exchange". The ban was eventually lifted, with the group donating their fees to charity.
The group disbanded in 1985 when Mchunu moved back to the farm where he was born in Natal in order to take care of his family. Clegg went on to form a new band, Savuka, with whom he achieved even greater international success. In 1997, however, the two friends came back for a final album together. It did not receive the critical acclaim of early Juluka albums like Universal Men, African Litany, Work for All and Scatterlings.