Hugh Ramapolo Masekela — Ancestor

April 4, 1939 — January 22, 2018

In May of 2004, Mr. Masekela arrived at our studio in Midtown Atlanta. Having seen recordings of his performances with Paul Simon and read his life story, we expected to have an interesting conversation. We did not expect to be thoroughly charmed and even more deeply impressed with the person, his character and his achievements.

A few minutes after he left our studio, we received a call from his limo inviting us to be his guests at his performance that night at Atlanta's Chastain Park. After his richly musical performance, we continued the conversation backstage and met his lovely (4th) wife, Elinam Cofie.


I don't quite know what greatness is, but I think Masekela is an example. It often comes in surprising packages from unexpected sources and leaves a legacy in the person's positive impact on our lives and cultures.

As an American today, it is easy to be discouraged with a strong trend toward depression. Reliving our brief time with Hugh Masekela and remembering the steadfastness, leadership and musicality he brought to the long struggle against apartheid in South Africa is a vital reminder that we can overcome. And we must.


To us, eternal life comes in the form of being an inspiration, a source of hope and succour, an example and a challenge to those who survive us and those who come after.


The world is a sadder place today because of Hugh Masekela's departing it.

It will be a better place because he passed through.





This is the webpage we posted after our encounter with "Hughski".


"Graceland - The Africa Concert" is an entertaining introduction (if you need one) to Masekela's music (and Paul Simon's). An excerpt is available on YouTube (probably pirated which we do NOT endorse) or you can do the honorable thing and get the concert on DVD. The blend of music and politics and community is inspirational.



The Guardian & This

The Conversation


The Economist






The New York Times


3rd Ear Music


Hugh Masekela website

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