AFRIMA Celebrates the Life of African Music Icon, Late Hugh Masekela

The International Committee of AFRIMA (All Africa Music Awards) celebrates
the life of an African music icon and activist, Hugh Masekela as he passed
on peacefully at his country home, Johannesburg, South Africa after a
protracted battle with prostate cancer on January 23, 2018 at the aged 78.

Masekela was nominated for three nominations at the 2017 AFRIMA Awards in
the categories of ‘Best Male Artiste in Southern Africa’ for his recent
single ‘Shango’, ‘Album of the Year’ for his recent album ‘No Borders’ and
for the ‘Best Artiste in African Jazz’. These three nominations show that
the legend waxed strong till his last breadth. Masekela was scheduled to
be at the host city, Lagos, Nigeria, for the 2017 AFRIMA Awards in
November but was unable to make it due to his ill health in spite all his

The President and Executive Producer, AFRIMA, Mike Dada, stated that “it
is a huge loss for the continent and African music. Masekela’s music had
the depth, the lyricism and the instrumentation that place the legend in
the class of world music classics with a definitive signature of its
African sound. The music icon will be greatly missed but his music and
struggle for free and prosperous Africa will always be in our hearts and

Masekela gained global recognition with his distinctive Afro-Jazz sound
and hit song-Soweto Blues. He creates music from his Africa’s experiences
andis known for excellent use of trumpet, flugelhorn, trombone and cornet

Born in April 4, 1939 and ventured into music as a child when the
anti-apartheid chaplain, Archbishop Trevor Huddleston gave him a trumpet
as a gift. He found escape from the racial chaos in South Africa in his
days with music. He later joined the Johannesburg Native Municipal Bras
Band, Uncle Suada.In later years, Masekela studied the art of music in
London’s Guildhall School of Music and the Manhattan School of Music, New

The legend had released 49 Albums from the 1966 to 2016 and featured
legends like Paul Simon, Lady Smith Mambazo, Mariam Makeba and others. He
was nominated for the Grammy Awards for Best Contemporary Pop Performance
– Instrumental in 1968 for his single ‘Grazing in the Grass’, an
anti-apartheid piece which sold 4 million copies among other nominations.

AFRIMA will pay tribute to Hugh Masekela in a glorifying spectacle at its
fifth edition scheduled to hold in November 2018.

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