I’ve got to where I am in life not because of something I brought to the world, but through something I found – the wealth of African culture. - Hugh Masekela.
Wednesday marks a year since the passing of Hugh Ramapolo Masekela. Masekela died at the age of 78 in a Johannesburg hospital on 23 January 2018. He had been battling prostate cancer since 2008.
Masekela, or Bra Hugh, as he was affectionately known, was a celebrated world-renowned flugelhornist, trumpeter, bandleader, composer and jazz singer.
To commemorate the first anniversary since his passing, the Hugh Masekela Heritage Foundation rededicates itself to lift his legacy even higher and to ensure his commitment was not in vain.
In its official statement, the foundation remembers Masekela as a man who loved the sound of laughter, remains a world-renowned artist, a cultural warrior and a beloved son of the African Continent and the Soil of his first love, South Africa.
"He is sorely missed, yet always celebrated for his extraordinary life which he lived with unabating zeal and humour," the statement read.
"Bra Hugh’s lifelong preoccupation with showcasing the Heritage of the continent has earned him a remarkable Legacy as an innovator and a champion for the recognition and promotion of the performing arts and their African provenance. His impact reaches far and wide, at home and abroad, and it lives on in the recordings of his live performances, his collaborations with a dizzying variety of artists and his autobiography Still Grazing.
"Masekela will always be with us, forever reminding us that there are no borders in creative endeavours when they are rooted in real human experience."
A year before his death, Masekela received an Hononary Doctorate degree from the University of KwaZulu-Natal ( UKZN) for his contribution in music and for his talent as a world-class musician.