Legendary musician Hugh Masekela has died

Hugh Masekela
File picture: Cathy Pinnock

Legendary musician Bra Hugh Masekela has died.

Bra Hugh’s family sent a statement confirming the news to the media.

“After a protracted and courageous battle with prostate cancer, he passed peacefully in Johannesburg, South Africa surrounded by his family,” read the statement.

The musician’s team released a statement in October saying he had been battling prostate cancer since 2008.

The statement explained that the jazz veteran underwent eye surgery in March 2016 after the cancer spread, and had to go into theatre again in September 2016 as another tumour was discovered.

In December, Georgiou told TshisaLIVE that he was fighting the disease with everything he had.

Bra Hugh was born in KwaGuqa township in Witbank and began singing and playing the piano as a child.

After seeing the film Young Man with a Horn when he was 14, Masekela began playing the trumpet.

His first trumpet was given to him by Archbishop Trevor Huddleston, an anti-apartheid chaplain at St Peter’s Secondary School.

He soon mastered the instrument and by 1956 joined Alfred Herbet’s African Jazz Revue.

Bra Hugh’s music was inspired by the turmoil that South Africa went through during  apartheid and he said it was used as a weapon to spread political change.

Masekela’s son, Sal Masekela, said it was with a heavy heart that he confirmed his father had “hung up his horn after a long battle with prostate cancer”.

“It is difficult to comprehend that this moment is real. To me, my father has always been both ageless and immortal. Of the countless shows I had the honor of watching my dad perform, each felt like the first, each felt brand new,” he wrote on Facebook.

“To know Hugh Masekela was to know no matter class, creed, color, religion or any other made up distinctions, he stood with empathy and compassion, locked arm in arm with the distressed, displaced and downtrodden everywhere and anywhere on this planet. He carried a deep seeded belief in justice, freedom and equality for all peoples to the very end.”



Fans from across the globe have filled social media with heartfelt condolences to Bra Hugh’s family and have remembered his massive contribution to the country’s political struggle through music:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BeSMHC2BdAw/?utm–source=ig–embed& utm–campaign=embed–ufi

– TshisaLIVE

2 thoughts on “Legendary musician Hugh Masekela has died

  • January 23, 2018 at 7:14 pm

    Farewell to a music maestro. A legend and a humble struggle veteran who has regarded every man as his equal regardless of his global success on the musical frontier. Well done! Bra Hugh, may your beautiful African soul rests in heavenly peace together with the late President Nelson Mandela, brave sons of the African soil. Hamba Kakhule Maqabana.

  • January 23, 2018 at 2:30 pm

    Jazz festival will never be the same again without you. may his soul rest in peace. RIPBraHUGH#THANAI


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