The Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) community and the country as a whole mourn the passing on of one of South Africa’s greatest music legends of all time. Bra Hugh Masekela passed away on 23 January, after a long battle with prostate cancer.
Prof George Mugovhani, Head of TUT’s Department of Performing Arts remembered the legendary musician saying, “Bra Hugh, together with a few of his peers, is recognised for his contribution towards bringing about what is now known as South African Jazz. He, together with musicians like Abdullah Ibrahim, Jonas Gwangwa, and Miriam Makeba, deserve a great deal of credit for making South African Jazz a popular voice of the oppressed during the Apartheid period in South Africa.”
“Many South African Jazz musicians at the time eventually decided to go into exile in order to sustain their careers. With his subtle lyrics and rhythms, Bra Hugh promoted the struggle towards the liberation of Black South Africans around the world. This is one of the defining characteristics of the state of Jazz in twentieth-century South Africa,” Prof Mughovani continued.
“We will always remember the significant contribution Bra Hugh has made in the development and improvement of new and young talent in the music industry.”
Prof Mughovani added that TUT’s Jazz students adored Bra Hugh and his ilk. “Their love for the icon is clear, because here is usually a piece by him in their repertoire.”
“We will remember his tireless contribution to the music industry and his role in the struggle for liberation. On behalf of TUT, we wish to convey our heartfelt condolences to his family and peers in the arts and culture fraternity at large. May his soul rest in peace,” concluded Prof Mugovhani.
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