RIP: Jazz icon Hugh Masekela remembered on his b-day


RIP: Jazz icon Hugh Masekela remembered on his b-day

Hugh Masekela was born on 4 April 1939 and died on 23 January 2018. The late jazz star was remembered on what could have been his 85th bday.

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Afro Soul singer Berita — real name Gugulethu Khumalo took time to pay tribute to the late saxophone star Hugh Ramapolo Masekela — sadly, he died at the age of 78 on 23 January 2018.


Over his lengthy career, Hugh Masekela made a mark in the music industry with his jazz hits including Thanayi, Thuma Mina, Ziph’Nkomo, and more. Singer Berita who collaborated with him on her song titled Mwana Wa Mai recently paid her tribute on his birthday.


“Celebrating the legacy of Bra High Masekela. Today we honour the iconic Bra Hugh Masekela, a legend in African Music. Let’s keep his spirit alive through the music he gifted us. Grateful to have worked with both him and the legendary Oliver Mtukudzi on Mwana Wa Mai,” Berita wrote.


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The late musician was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2008, TshisaLIVE reported. During his memorial service, his friends, family, fans, and his other half Nomsa Manaka were said to have gathered at the University of Johannesburg’s Soweto Campus.

“In his final days, he met another beautiful woman and he was devoted to her, and she was devoted to him to the end… In his mind, he never accepted the thought that he was going to die,” the legendary musician’s sister Barbara was quoted as having said on the day. “He believed that he was going to get better and live forever,” Barbara reportedly added.


Hugh Masekela, according to The Guardian, was born in Kwa-Guqa township, in the coal mining settlement of Witbank, near Johannesburg. His father, Thomas, was said to have worked as a health inspector and sculptor. Other the other hand, his mother, Pauline was said to have worked as a social worker.

Before the tragedy of his death, Masekela also made a mark in South Africa in other ways other than music. The late trumpeter and singer was an activist and become a symbolic figure of the country’s anti-apartheid movement. This comes after having spent three decades in exile, the New York Times reported.

And further than that, in 1986, he reportedly aimed to make another impact and founded the nonprofit organsiation, Botswana International School of Music.

Not only that, Pula Twala, the Board Member of the Hugh Masekela Heritage Foundation said “In 2015 Hugh Masekela [also] established the Hugh Masekela Heritage Foundation for the express purpose of preserving and promoting our African heritage and the restoration of our African identity through various mediums.”


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