The world is still reeling from the shock of losing legendary South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela. The globally-acclaimed Jazz maestro died yesterday(January 23) as announced by his family.
In a statement, his family said he had “passed peacefully” in Johannesburg “after a protracted and courageous battle with prostate cancer”.
The musician’s family mourned him saying he was “a loving father, brother, grandfather, and friend” who would be “forever in our hearts”.
“Our hearts beat with profound loss. Hugh Masekela was someone who always engaged robustly with the press on musical and social-political issues.”
Masekela, fondly referred to as the ‘father of South African jazz’, died aged 78. He gained global recognition with his distinctive Afro-Jazz sound and hits such as ‘Soweto Blues’, ‘Bring Him Back Home’, with the latter serving as an anti-apartheid song demanding the release of Nelson Mandela.
As news of the legend’s death spread, tributes poured in from all over the world praising him for his contribution to music and his stand against apartheid.
Closer home, President Uhuru Kenyatta led the country in mourning the singer who was not new to Kenya. The two-time Grammy Award nominee was in the country in August, 2016 for the Safaricom Jazz Night, where he was the main attraction.
During his time in the country, the world-acclaimed musician – affectionately known as Bra Hugh, paid President Uhuru Kenyatta a visit at State House.
The President, while mourning Bra Hugh, shared pictures of their meetup as they held hands and shared a light moment.
President Uhuru eulogized him saying: “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.”
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