Today marks the day when Earth has once again lost a legend. Today we say goodbye to Hugh Masekela, a fighter, an inspiration and an exceptionally talented musician.
He was lovingly known as Bra Hugh as well as 'the father of South African Jazz'. Born in Witbank (Gauteng, South Africa) on 4 April 1939, he began playing piano and singing from a young age. At the age of 14 he took up playing the trumpet, for which he is now globally recognised for.
(Goodlife Family/Facebook | Source: http://allafrica.com/view/group/main/main/id/00032631.html)
Bra Hugh's music drew most attention due to the fact that he used his talent to express his life experiences and the Apartheid era in South Africa, which many people could relate to. He highlighted the suppression, conflict and exploitation South Africa faced during these times.
His music protested Apartheid, the government and the hardships individuals were experiencing. Masekela reached a large population that also felt oppressed due to the country's situation and who also wanted political change.
Fast forward to the year 2008 when Bra Hugh was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer. He underwent treatment which seemed to be successful, however in 2016, the cancer spread and he had to undergo surgery. In April 2017, another tumour was discovered and once again he had to undergo treatment.
Bra Hugh reached out to his fans and supporters in 2017 through the media and released a statement about his condition and feelings towards the subject:
"It is a tough battle but I am greatly encouraged by the good wishes of family, friends and everyone who has supported my musical journey, which remains the greatest source of my inspiration... I will need all my energy to continue this fight against prostate cancer.
I’m in a good space, as I battle this stealthy disease, and I urge all men to have regular tests to check your own condition. Ask questions, demand answers and learn everything you can about this cancer, and tell others to do the same. This will be the only public statement I make on the matter, and I ask for privacy going forward, so that I may rest and heal."
Sadly, our legendary South African musician Hugh Masekela has died today at the age of 78 (23 January 2018). While Earth has lost another legend, he leaves behind his contribution to the struggle for liberation.
His family issued a statement on Tuesday to confirm the news, while also assuring us that he had passed peacefully in Johannesburg, surrounded by his loved ones. We send our deepest condolences to his friends and family. He was adored by many and will be missed greatly.
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