Hugh Masekela's son: 'My father has always been both ageless & immortal'

23 January 2018 - 11:54 By Kyle Zeeman
Hugh Masekela's son, Sal has paid tribute to his father.
Hugh Masekela's son, Sal has paid tribute to his father.
Image: Via Sal Masekela's Facebook.

Hugh Masekela's son, Selema Mabena 'Sal' Masekela has penned a heartfelt tribute letter in the wake of his father's death, explaining it was difficult to comprehend the reality of the tragedy. 

Bra Hugh died on Tuesday morning in Johannesburg, surrounded by his family. He had been battling prostate cancer since 2008.

"It is difficult to comprehend that this moment is real. To me, my father has always been both ageless and immortal. Of the countless shows I had the honour of watching my dad perform, each felt like the first, each felt brand new," Sal said. 

Sal, a musician himself, said his father's tireless passion for music and his ability to touch the hearts of his audience shaped his entire life, and was instrumental in fighting the evils of Apartheid.

"As a product of the meticulously designed apartheid regime of 20th century South Africa, my father's life was the definition of activism and resistance. Despite the open arms of many countries, for 30 years he refused to take citizenship anywhere else on this earth. His belief, too strong, that the pure evil of a systematic racist oppression could and would be crushed. Instead he would continue to fight. He was right."

Sal travelled across Africa with his father and reflected on how Bra Hugh was "obsessed" with the continent he loved.

"He was beautifully obsessed with showcasing the endless magic and pageantry of African people to a western obsessed world. After a recent trip to Tanzania caused me to share with my dad that my heart was full, he simply said this to me, 'I️ can give you my heart to take in the overspill'".

South African music legend Hugh Masekela passed away at the age of 78. TimesLIVE shares the last interview with him and reflects on his life.