Remembering Hugh Masekela, jazz legend and activist

Remembering Hugh Masekela, jazz legend and activist


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The ONE Campaign has learned of the sad news that legendary jazz trumpeter Hugh Masekela has died at 78.

In addition to his career as “the father of South African jazz,” Hugh was a passionate activist and a prominent figure in the fight to end apartheid in South Africa. In a statement regarding Hugh’s passing, South Africa President Jacob Zuma said, “It is an immeasurable loss to the music industry and to the country at large. His contribution to the struggle for liberation will never be forgotten.”

Hugh Masekela was also a friend to ONE, joining our Hungry No More campaign in 2012 to ask African leaders to focus investments in their agricultural sectors.

NPR reports that he passed away peacefully in Johannesburg after a long battle with cancer, according to a statement from his family. The statement also says, “[Our] hearts beat with profound loss… Hugh’s global and activist contribution to and participation in the areas of music, theatre, and the arts in general is contained in the minds and memory of millions across six continents.”

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