Hardship in South Africa during the days of Apartheid created a culture of resistance and protest that was embodied by the likes of political figures like Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo. The culture pervaded simply politics and spread to the arts where it was personified by artists like Hugh Masekela and Miriam Makeba. Unfortunately, following a ten year fight with prostate cancer, the South African father of Jazz music went to rest today in Johannesburg.
Masekela who was at the forefront of the struggle against the Apartheid government was sent into exile in 1960 shortly after the Sharpeville Massacre which claimed the lives of 69 people. Following an education across the UK and US, Masekela relocated to Botswana where he established the Botswana International School of Music. Masekela was also responsible for the record, Bring Him Back Home which was considered one of the unofficial anthems of the anti-apartheid movement.
Read the tributes that have poured in from politicians and musicians around the world.
A teenage Hugh Masekela jumping for joy in Sophiatown with the trumpet he received from Louis Armstrong. Shot by Alf Kumalo. Iconic. pic.twitter.com/HJdjzXwnsi
— Kieran Dodds (@_kierandodds) January 23, 2018
A baobab tree has fallen, the nation has lost a one of a kind musician with the passing of Jazz legend bra Hugh Masekela. We can safely say bra Hugh was one of the great architects of Afro-Jazz and he uplifted the soul of our nation through his timeless music. #RIPBraHughMasekela pic.twitter.com/JVy47GA6aU
— Min. Nathi Mthethwa (@NathiMthethwaSA) January 23, 2018
The World has today lost a Legend. Hugh Masekela, gave us many songs, a reason to dance to Jazz, & combined that with a trumpet, not only to connect us to entertainment, but also to give South Africa, a liberating & powerful voice against Apartheid. We celebrate him @SAPresident pic.twitter.com/wtH70O9PEA
— President of Kenya (@PresidentKE) January 23, 2018
Hugh Masekela taught me more about South African culture and politics than anyone I ever met. A great musician and songwriter, he was also one of the wittiest people I’ve known. I never had a bad moment in his company.
— Paul Simonhttps://t.co/4UdkUjbSnB
— Paul Simon (@PaulSimonMusic) January 23, 2018