Zuma mourns Hugh Masekela as artist and activist


Legendary jazz trumpeter Hugh Masekela, a leading figure in the struggle to end apartheid and "the father of South African jazz", has died aged 78.

"After a protracted and courageous battle with prostate cancer, he passed peacefully in Johannesburg", Masekela's family said in a statement.

"Mr Masekela was one of the pioneers of jazz music in South Africa whose talent was recognised and honoured internationally over many years".

The 1977 song became synonymous with the anti-apartheid movement.

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Born in the town of Witbank in 1939, Masekela first learned to play trumpet at the age of 14, taking quite quickly to the instrument, before going on to lead a number of small ensembles.

South African TV host Khanyi Dhlomo tweeted: "Such devastating news about the passing on of SA's Father of Jazz Hugh Masekela".

In a statement issued on Tuesday morning, Bra Hugh's family said they were shattered by his death. The Grammy award-winning artist toured with Paul Simon and was a major player on the jazz and world music scene for decades.

"We are blessed and grateful to be part of a life and ever-expanding legacy of love, sharing and vanguard creativity that spans the time and space of six decades".

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Bra Hugh was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2008.

A man described as a legend.

"He uplifted the soul of our nation through his timeless music".

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