In this post, we celebrate the life of a great South African musician and hero, Hugh Ramopolo Masekela, known to many as Bra Hugh, who passed on this year on January 23rd. He would have been 79 this week on April 4th. Bra Hugh was not only a musical legend but a social inclusion hero.
“My biggest obsession is to show Africans and the world who the people of Africa really are”
Bra Hugh certainly lived this out in his music, he produced over 40 albums during a career that lasted over 60 years. If you don’t know his music, we recommend you go to you tube and discover his legendary sounds… here are a few recommendations:
Stimela (the Coal train) – a classic song that tells the real story of the coal mines in South Africa…
Bring him back Home – an anti-apartheid anthem…
Change – a political song calling on leaders who have over-stayed to step down…
Here also is his famous Homecoming Concert, after returning to South Africa in 1991 after 30 years in exile, where he had spent time in many countries in West and Central Africa, as well as USA and Botswana. This was known as the Sekunjalo (“This is it”) concert.
So much was written about Bra Hugh when he passed on..
There is an excellent one from Robin Denselow writing in the Guardian here
Another great tribute from Charles Onyango-Obbo in the East African can be read here
For those who love Quotes, please have a look at some of Masakela’s great ones here
Masakela also started a Heritage Foundation which has the Mission “To unearth, preserve and promote Africa’s heritage and culture through arts and education and to restore Africa’s identity and share it with the world.” More can be found out about the Foundation here
Please do also visit the official Hugh Masakela site here for more about his life and work.
Rest in Peace Bra Hugh… you are missed by many millions and your legacy will go on and on, as you continue to inspire future generations.