Hugh Masekela was without doubt South Africa’s most-loved jazz musician.
However, he was also well-loved by his family and nowhere was that more evident than in his relationship with his eldest son, Selema “Sal” Masekela.
According to City Press, Sal was recently in the country for the announcement of the Afropunk Fest Joburg 2017 line-up – which meant he got to spend time with his father before Bra Hugh’s death.
Speaking of his father in the interview with City Press , Sal praised Bra Hugh’s impact on South Africa.
“I have a father who’s not just famous, but who has had an impact on the world. Over time, I’ve had to learn and appreciate what he went through, what he was fighting for and what it means to be South African,” Sal said.
In a Facebook post earlier this morning, Sal wrote, ” It is with heavy heart that I confirm that my father, Hugh Ramapolo Masekela, has hung up his horn after a long battle with prostate cancer. It is difficult to comprehend that this moment is real. To me, my father has always been both ageless and immortal.”
Although 46-year-old Sal was born in the US and has since and built a successful career there, he remained extremely close to his legendary father.
Although Sal is a muso too, he didn’t allow his surname to prevent him from having a successful career in showbiz. In addition to being an R&B artist, he’s also a popular journalist and TV producer in the US and has even worked for E! News.
In a YouTube video based on their relationship, Sal said, “As proud as I am to be my father’s son, my pride comes in the gifts and talents he has passed onto me.”
In 2010 the father-son duo did a 10-part TV series for sports network ESPN, Umlando: Through My Father’s Eyes, which took viewers on an introspective journey of South Africa and its many cultures and history.
Bra Hugh also has a daughter, Pula Twala, who prefers to stay out of the spotlight.
The Maekela family rleased a statement this morning.
“It is with profound sorrow that the family of Ramapolo Hugh Masekela announce his passing. After a protracted and courageous battle with prostate cancer, he passed peacefully in Johannesburg, South Africa, surrounded by his family.”