Hugh Masekela (1939– )

Born:

4th April 1939 in Witbank (now Mpumalanga) in the Transvaal, South Africa.

Some great singles:
  • Grazing in the Grass (1968).
  • The Marketplace (1974).
  • African Secret Society (1974).
  • Ashikoe (1975).
  • Vasco Da Gama (1976).
  • Don’t Lose it Baby (1984).
  • Bring Back Nelson Mandela Bring him Back Home to Soweto (1987). (See below for a video.)
  • Stimela (1994). (See below for a video.)
Some albums:
  • The Americanization of Ooga-Booga (1965).
  • Emancipation of Hugh Masekela (1964).
  • Alive and Well at the Whiskey (1967).
  • Promise of a Future (1968).
  • Home is Where Music is (1972).
  • Techno Bush (1984).
  • Black to the Future (1999).
  • Sixty (2000).
  • Greatest Hits (2001).
  • Time (2002).
  • Almost Like Being in Jazz (2007).
Some interesting facts:
  • He sings and plays the flugelhorn (a sort of trumpet).
  • He is a Black South African who lived under apartheid—a set of laws that were very harsh to Blacks. For instance, under apartheid, Blacks couldn’t live in the same places as Whites, couldn’t travel on the same carriages in trains, and couldn’t even sit on the same seats in parks!!
  • A lot of his music is about how horrible it was living under apartheid and about the struggle for Blacks to be free.
  • He also plays music from the townships of South Africa.
  • His music career began when the anti-apartheid Archbishop Trevor Huddleston gave him a trumpet.
  • He was also given a trumpet by Louis Armstrong.
  • In 1959 he was part of the first Black African group to make a recording in South Africa.
  • He managed to leave South Africa in 1960 to study in London and New York.
  • He moved back to Southern Africa (but not South Africa) in 1980. However he didn’t stay long because it wasn’t safe. This was because his music was anti-apartheid and some of his friends had been killed.
  • He returned to South Africa in 1990 when the apartheid laws began to change.
  • He is now very popular in South Africa (and worldwide) and gives concerts all over the world.

Here is a video of Hugh Masekela performing Stimela (Coal Train) at a concert in 1986.

Hugh Masekela performing ‘Stimela’

And is a video of Hugh Masekela performing Bring Back Nelson Mandela Bring him Back Home to Soweto.

Hugh Masekela performing ‘Bring Back Nelson Mandela’

Hugh Masekela appears in aother video on the following news page:

Picture credits:
  1. Hugh Masekela. This photograph was taken on 16 September 2007 by the scorpius73. The image is free to use providing one credits the photographer. Click here for the source of this image, along with the relevant copyright information.
Video credits:
  1. Hugh Masekela – Coal Train Live. Hugh Masekela and band performing Coal Train (stimela) at the ‘Freedom Beat’ festival Clapham Common 28th June 1986.
  2. Hugh Masekela – Mandela (Bring Him Back Home). Rare performance from Hugh Masekela, from my private collection. Enjoy… (circa: 1987). The person who uploaded this video to YouTube also writes: All TV promos, news clips, airchecks, music related performances etc. remain the sole property of their respective copyright holders. No video clips are for sale, nor do they imply challenge to ownerships. They are intended strictly for entertainment, educational, and historical purposes, and fall under the “Fair Use” guideline.