Tuesday, 23 January 2018


The local arts sector is mourning death of the South African legendary jazz musician Bra Hugh Masekela who passed on yesterday morning after a battle with prostate cancer. He was 78.

Masekela was a trumpeter, flugel hornist, cornetist, composer and singer. He is considered the “father of South African jazz”. He worked with a number of local artistes and promoters who expressed their deep loss among them Oliver Mtukudzi, Ammara Brown, Mono Mukundu, Victor Kunonga and Josh Hozheri. Songbird Ammara Brown is one of the female musicians who shared the stage with the late Masekela in 2015 and later recorded some songs together.

“I first shared the stage with Sekuru Masekela in Nyanga, 2015.He watched my performance and later came to backstage and showered me with adornment and respect for my delivery then met him again in Harare when I asked him if we can record together. The following year we recorded and that is how he ended up on two songs “Tawina” and “Next Life Time” on my debut album “Ammartia”.I am very sad but his music will live on,” said Ammara. Music producer Mono Mukundu said Masekela was a unique musician of all time.

“It really sad that the big man is gone. He was very humble. The last time we performed together was in 2013 at Oliver Mtukudzi birthday bash held at the Harare international Conference Centre (HICC).His music was unique and it will never fade,” he said

Kunonga worked with the late legend on his project of 2016 collaborative project titled “Shai Shai” that is due for release. Masekela was the also guest in Harare at the launch of Kunonga’s fourth album titled “Kwedu”.

“His death came at a time when we were planning to release the collaborative album. It was mixed in South Africa and he had sent it United Kingdom for mastering. We were only left with the packaging process. However, he left us a credible legacy that we will always cherish, our music sector will never be the same again without his presence,” said Kunonga. Music promoter Josh Hozheri has described the death of the icon as a great loss to the music industry.

“I am quite saddened by his death because he someone that I have worked with for almost 20 years. He was very humble and a professional musician whom I used to invite for performances numerous times,” he said. He also said he had plans underway to bring him to Zimbabwe this year for a special jazz festival.

“We had a personal relationship, in fact I have his portrait at Time and Jazz CafĂ© as one the legendary musicians in Africa. Actually this year I had plans to host a special show of the living jazz legends and he was among the performing artistes I had in mind,” said Hozheri.
Unfortunately, Masekela’s closest buddy Mtukudzi was not available for comment, but his manager Walter Wanyanya expressed grief and posted a picture of himself and the late legend on Facebook noting :“I am because he was and is.” Herald


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