The African National Congress – Eastern Cape mourns the passing away of music legend, Hugh Masekela , affectionately known as Bra Hugh. Bra Hugh succumbed to his death this morning (23rd January 2018) at the age of 78 years after a long fight with prostate cancer which was diagnosed in 2008
It is indeed a sad day for all of us in the ANC and no doubt to South Africans at large. We have lost a legend, someone who was a unifying figure because his music was enjoyed by all.
We join many South Africans in paying tribute to this music legend who became a beacon of hope and who inspired many artists and individuals in our country.
With a background in South Africa’s township music as well as swing and pop, he became a leading émigré trumpeter and an important figure in jazz. He was an immensely gifted composer and trumpeter that breathed consciousness and agitated thoughts of freedom through his music.
Bra Hugh’s vibrant trumpet and flugelhorn solos have been featured in pop, R&B, disco, Afro-pop, and jazz contexts. He’s had American and international hits, worked with bands around the world, and played with African, African-American, European, and various American musicians during a stellar career
Masekela was in the orchestra for the musical King Kong, whose cast included Miriam Makeba. He was also in the Jazz Epistles with Abdullah Ibrahim, Makaya Ntshoko, Gwanga, and Kippie Moeketsi. Masekela and Makeba, his wife at that time, left South Africa one year before Ibrahim and Sathima Bea Benjamin in 1961.
Such musicians as Dizzy Gillespie, John Dankworth, and Harry Belafonte assisted him. Hit songs such Mandela (Bring Him Back Home), Market Place, Stimela (The Coal Train), Maseru, Thanayi and Sharpville showed his versatility and growth in South African jazz.
In a career spanning several decades, Bra Hugh released more than 40 albums. He is well known for his jazz compositions, which mesmerised South Africans, as well as delivering revolutionary messages during the bloody fight against the apartheid system.
The indelible contribution Bra Hugh has made to the tapestry that is South African arts and culture will never be forgotten. May his life’s work forever remain an inspiration to generations of artists who would emulate his example of using music to effect change and inspire hope amongst his people.
He’s no more but his distinctly hoarse voice will continue to reverberate through the airwaves because legends like Bra Hugh do not die, all they do is take a bow and rest for a while.
As we mourn his passing, the ANC Eastern Cape sends its sincere condolences to Sisi Barbara Masekela and the entire Masekela family. Words cannot express the sympathy we feel at the loss of the Masekela family and the music fraternity as a whole
We pray with them for strength during this difficult time. We also extend our heartfelt sympathies to his colleagues in the industry and all South Africans at large.
He is no longer with us, but, his legacy will live on.
We deep our revolutionary banner in salute of this great giant.
May your soul rest in eternal peace Bra Hugh
ANC EC Communications
ANC EC Media & Liaison Officer
Mobile No: 0636878267/0731176194
ANC EC Communications Manager