Hugh Masekela. Picture: Mike Blake/ Reuters

As the world continues to celebrate the centenary of Nelson Mandela’s birth, the late Hugh Masekela’s band will explore and honour the intersections of the two great men’s legacies through his music.

Their two legacies are connected by key themes and experiences of their lives. The duo gave their lives to a vision of a free South Africa united in its cultural diversity. 

While Madiba was imprisoned and unable to be with his people for 27 years, Bra Hugh was exiled and not allowed to come home for much of his life. 

In 1987, Bra Hugh wrote and performed the anthemic song that called for the release of the then-imprisoned Madiba, Bring Him Back Home (Nelson Mandela).  It was one of his most spectacular declarations of support for Madiba.

On Saturday, July 28, musicians who played with Hugh Masekela in his last decade of making music will ascend the stage with a repertoire made up of the maestro’s iconic hits. 

Their performance will celebrate Bra Hugh’s life and highlight the richness of his musical contribution to the world.

Led by trumpeter and composer, Sydney Mavundla who will be playing a flugelhorn gifted him by Bra Hugh, the band will also feature bassist Fana Zulu, drummer Leeroy Sauls and vocalist Gugu Shezi who formed part of Masekela’s inner circle of collaborators during his last decade.

The performance is an offering from Being Mandela a content partnership created by Blanket Entertainment and the Nelson Mandela Foundation in association with The Orbit Jazz Club to celebrate, preserve and sustain Mandela’s legacy using Jazz music. 

“Bra, Hugh lived a life that spanned 5 continents over 8 decades. Though he was exiled from the country of his birth for much of his adult life. 

"His love and commitment to the people of South Africa remained central to his music and human rights activism. Just like Madiba he lived for his people. It is therefore fitting that we invoke his contribution as we celebrate Madiba’s life, says,” Leo Phiri, Executive Producer Being Mandela.

The partnership welcomes this collaboration with The Hugh Masekela Heritage Foundation to pay tribute to two legendary icons.

"It’s important for us to highlight the immensity Hugh Masekela’s life and values. He was much more than a musician. His commitment to human rights and contribution to the struggle for freedom embodied a much of the features that define Madiba’s vision, ” comments Hugh Masekela Heritage Foundation.

IOL/Supplied