Hassan catapulted to fame with the famous lyrics “My wife saw me talking to another girl” from the song “Nana Poitervarie”.
It was on the lips of most South African Indians. And is still a firm favourite at traditional Indian wedding events and prayers.
According to a website, IndianSpice, the popular vocalist show business career started in 1958 during the apartheid era when he performed on stage at the Alhambra Theatre. As an Indian he had to seek permission to use the bathroom facilities at the Theatre where he had his debut performance and had to employ the services of white stage technicians and artists for his show.
Hassan was a versatile artist who performed in seSotho, isiZulu, Telugu, Gujarati, Hindi Urdu and Afrikaans.
His first debut performance was at the tender age of 14 belting out classic rock numbers from Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Chubby Checker and Cliff Richard. The artist also performed in stage productions by Ronnie Govender like Mandrax Muniamma and Off Side and featured in the popular South African movie, Broken Promises.
In an article with POST, Hassan, who was born as Hassan Saib said he adopted the stage name “Ramesh Hassan” so that he could promote Hindu-Muslim unity and in the process build a fan base.
“It was only going to be a matter of time before I was going to take to the stage. But I wanted to be different and to sing in many languages,” he said.