South African Jazz legend, Hugh Masekela dies at 78

South African Jazz Icon Hugh Masekela has died at the age of 78 after a long battle with prostate cancer.

The news of his demise was confirmed by his family through a statement that was released today.

“After a protracted and courageous battle with prostate cancer, he passed peacefully in Johannesburg, South Africa, surrounded by his family,” read the statement.

According to his team in October 2017, the musician had been battling prostate cancer since 2008.

President Jacob Zuma in his condolence message said, "The nation mourns one of its most recognisable signature talents ... It is an immeasurable loss to the music industry and to the country at large.

"His contribution to the struggle for liberation will never be forgotten. 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."

Similarly, the South African Minister of Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa wrote on his Twitter page, “A baobab tree has fallen, the nation has lost a one of a kind musician with the passing of Jazz legend bra Hugh Masekela. We can safely say bra Hugh was one of the great architects of Afro-Jazz and he uplifted the soul of our nation through his timeless music. #RIPBraHughMasekela.”

Masekela was prominent in the South Africans fight against apartheid. His 1987 hit “Bring Him Back Home” was the theme song for Nelson Mandela’s world tour after his release from prison.

The details of his memorial and burial, his family said will be released to the public soon.


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