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South African Music Legend Hugh Masekela Dies at 78



South African musician Hugh Masekela Dies - BellaNaija

Hugh Masekela, Marcus Miller and Guillaume Perret perform on stage during the International Jazz Day 2015 Global Concert at UNESCO on April 30, 2015 in Paris, France. (Photo by Kristy Sparow/Getty Images for Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz)

South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela has died, TimesLive reports.

The South African Minister of Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa confirmed the news on his Twitter, writing:

A baobab tree has fallen, the nation has lost a one of a kind musician with the passing of Jazz legend bra Hugh Masekela. We can safely say bra Hugh was one of the great architects of Afro-Jazz and he uplifted the soul of our nation through his timeless music. #RIPBraHughMasekela

In a statement released by Masekela’s family, it was revealed that the jazz trumpeter passed after a battle with prostate cancer.

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

Masekela was prominent in the South Africans fight against apartheid, his 1987 hit “Bring Him Back Home” becoming the theme tune for Nelson Mandela’s world tour after his release from prison.

Details of his memorial and burial will be released to the public soon, the family said.

Photo Credit: Kristy Sparow/Getty Images for Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz


  1. Bennie

    January 23, 2018 at 9:40 am

    Wow! may his soul rest in peace, amen.

  2. Rukky

    January 23, 2018 at 10:05 am

    my favourite lines from this great man …. 1. “everything must change , everything must change” a great song which calls on all selfish african leaders to change.

    2. “Bring back Nelson Mandela, bring him back home to Soweto, I want to see him walking down the streets of south africaaaa”…….

    A real legend is gone…. soo sad.. hmm

    • Maxine

      January 23, 2018 at 11:52 am

      Tomoooorrow… Tomorrow….
      Fab song….

  3. Teetee

    January 23, 2018 at 10:42 am

    Awww…the last time I saw him perform at the mzanzi viewers’award,I had this feeling it will probably be the last time I will ever see him perform. RIP

    • Weezy

      January 23, 2018 at 7:49 pm

      Same! I saw him perform in the US, and told my friend – this guy may die or retire anytime soon, we have to go.

  4. N. M.

    January 23, 2018 at 11:39 am

    Awwww…… such a great man. May his soul rest in peace.

  5. Ada_ugo

    January 23, 2018 at 1:28 pm

    awww…may he RIP

  6. Confuzzled

    January 23, 2018 at 1:43 pm

    I remember listening to him as a child with my father. I saw him perform in Berklee College of Music a few years ago. I’m so proud to have had that opportunity. RIP to a great man.

  7. Bowl

    January 23, 2018 at 2:14 pm

    Goodnight sir

  8. hotchick

    January 23, 2018 at 8:42 pm

    Minutes away from a good cry. I’ve seen him perform live a couple times, and loved every second. Goodnight Hugh Masekela, SA has really lost a gem!

  9. Simi

    January 24, 2018 at 12:38 am

    Too a generation of African activist music icons – Fela, Mama Africa, Papa Wemba, Hugh Masekela…..

    I swear the next time N’dour tours, I have to see him.

  10. John

    January 24, 2018 at 7:55 pm

    Ah…….. Stimela! Goodnight, Mr Masekela.

  11. Adamazi

    January 25, 2018 at 8:30 pm

    May his soul rest in peace

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