Barbara Masekela looks back on a life of love and loss in her new memoir

Barbara Masekela has written a memoir that embraces her childhood search for identity, a journey of discovery into the lives of those who gave her life, and an exploration of roots, history and the events that shape our personalities, writes Sue de Groot

05 September 2021 - 00:00

Barbara Masekela is variously described as an activist, academic, educator, poet, politician, ambassador and mother. Some people add “sister of Hugh” to that list, because the Masekela name celebrated around the world is most often associated with the trumpet maestro who died on January 23 2018.

These frequent references to her brother do not bother Barbara. He was her best friend and his death was in some ways a catalyst for the memoir she had been planning to write. The first volume, Poli Poli, is dedicated to Hugh, who Barbara called Minkie, a childhood nickname based on the character Mickey Mouse...

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