Hugh Masekela was a voice for the youth - ANC Youth League

South African jazz musician and anti-apartheid activist Hugh Masekela has died in Johannesburg at the age of 78 after a battle with prostate cancer

There was also a message from Clr Herman Mashaba, the executive mayor of the City of Joburg, "I am sad to learn of the passing of legendary South African trumpeter, composer and singer, Hugh Masekela".

Recounting his fond memories of the South African trumpeter, the host of Jazz on Joy noted that, "Hugh was such an affable person, a true gem". He released over 40 albums and toured in South Africa and internationally until late in 2017.

In 1974, Masekela released his album I Am Not Afraid, which included Stimela (Coal Train), a song that became synonymous with his performances for decades to come.

The following year, he scored a number one hit with "Grazing in the Grass", performed here much later at the 2010 World Cup.

In Masekela's case, however, the combination of a searing curiosity and appetite for the world around him (which sometimes got him into deep trouble), an abiding musical gift, an unabashed and enduring love of the township life that shaped him, and a life in exile meant that his particular folk music drew the widest audience possible. 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 York.

The President and Executive Producer of All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA) has said that the death of Masekela is a huge loss for the African continent.

"South Africa has become a spectator sport", Masekela told the Los Angeles Daily News in 1987, dismissing "Graceland" critics who argued that South African musicians shouldn't show support for Simon by playing with him on tour.

"If I can get a trumpet", he promised his chaplain, "I won't bother anybody". His first trumpet was given to him by Archbishop Trevor Huddleston, the anti-apartheid chaplain at St. Peter's Secondary School.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of South Africa: The Presidency.

He married Makeba the following year.

But we can all take inspiration from Masekela's refusal to walk any kind of easy or prescribed line.

Following the release of Nelson Mandela, Masekela returned to his land of birth in 1990. A son from a relationship, Selema "Sal" Masekela, works as a musician and journalist.

Masekela spent time in both NY and Los Angeles, performing at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival with some of the era's most iconic musicians, including Janis Joplin, Otis Redding and Jimi Hendrix.

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