Legendary jazz trumpeter Hugh Masekela, a leading figure in the struggle to end apartheid has died aged 78.
In a statement, his family said he had “passed peacefully” in Johannesburg “after a protracted and courageous battle with prostate cancer”.
Masekela was born in Kwa-Guqa Township, Witbank, South Africa. He began singing and playing piano as a child. At the age of 14, after seeing the film Young Man with a Horn
In 1960, aged 21, he left South Africa to begin what would be 30 years in exile from the land of his birth.
Masekela returned to South Africa in 1990 following the release of Nelson Mandela, whose freedom he had called for in his 1986 anthem Bring Home Nelson Mandela.
In June 2010, he performed at both the opening concert of the Fifa World Cup and the tournament’s opening ceremony in Soweto’s Soccer City.
In a statement, South African President Jacob Zuma said Masekela’s death was “an immeasurable loss to the music industry and to the country at large”.
Zuma continued: “His contribution to the struggle for liberation will never be forgotten.”
Here are some 5 interesting facts about Hugh Masekela
Hugh Masekela was the first African male Grammy nominee in (1968).
He began singing and playing piano as a child. At the age of 14
His hit record “Grazing in the Grass” in (1968), sold four million copies worldwide
Was awarded African Music Legend award at the Ghana Music Awards: 2007
Hugh Maasekela was part of the first Jazz Group (Jazz Epistles) to release an LP