Hugh Masekela, 78, trumpeter, South African jazz pioneer (dubbed the ‘Father of South African jazz’) and anti-apartheid activist who spent three decades in exile and is best known for his 1968 hit, “Grazing In The Grass” and his 1987 single, “Mandela (Bring Him Back Home)”, which became an anthem for the movement to free Nelson Mandela, who was imprisoned at the time.
“Song is the literature of South Africa,” Masekela once said. “There’s no political rally that ever happened in South Africa without singing being the main feature.”
Masekela, once married to singer Miriam Makeba, died on January 23.
“My father’s life was the definition of activism and resistance. His belief [was] that the pure evil of a systematic racist oppression could and would be crushed,” said his son, Selema Mabena Mesekela.