Remembering Hugh Masekela
Hugh Masekela and his music were both the doors into thinking about South African exile in my doctoral thesis and a source of inspiration when high-minded ideas threatened to eclipse the sounds of the music and the voices of people I was writing about. Although I don’t have personal memories of meeting Bra Hugh in person (as many other authors have), I realized how personal my connection was with his music by how deeply I was touched by his passing. The thought that I would never again experience a live performance that never failed to have me on my feet, moving and moved, saddened me. How fortunate to have experienced that.
When I was asked to write a piece on Hugh Masekela’s passing for LitNet, I saw it as an opportunity to introduce this great artist to an Afrikaans-speaking audience who may not be familiar with his music. Such are the blind spots of living in South Africa in (or in the aftermath) of apartheid. This piece is an appreciation of Hugh Masekela, closing with a playlist of his musical journey.