The African National Congress has received with shock and sadness news of the passing of legendary anti-apartheid activist and musical genius, Hugh Ramapolo Masekela.
Dubbed the “Father of South African Jazz, Bra Hugh was a towering figure, both at home and around the world, an ardent advocate for freedom and a rebelliously defiant voice against oppression and injustice. He passes on following a courageous battle against prostate cancer.
Born in April 1939, Bra Hugh proved his musical ability at the young age collaborating with various legendary artists to craft music that reflected his experiences and portray the struggles of living under the yoke of apartheid rule in South Africa.
Like many of our struggle icons, he was forced to go into exile in the 1960s because of his music which was unsilenced in the face of discrimination. As international pressure mounted on the apartheid government to release political prisoners in the 1980s, Bra Hugh, through his music, became of the voice and conscience of countless generations of South Africans. His anthemic “Bring Him Back Home”, amongst his many works, spoke of the yearning the South African people had for freedom and liberation.
The African National Congress sends condolences to the Masekela family and the creative industry. We extend our sympathies to the people of South Africa on the loss of so legendary an icon.
Indeed, a baobab tree has fallen. May his soul rest in peace.
Issued by the African National Congress
Zizi Kodwa 082 330 4910
Khusela Diko 072 854 5707