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date: 26 February 2020

Masekela, Hugh Ramopolo locked

(1939– ),
  • James Sellman

Extract

South African jazz trumpeter and a leader in the fusion of African and Western popular music, was born 4 April 1939, in the coal-mining town of Witbank, South Africa, the eldest of four children of Thomas Masekela, a sculptor and health inspector, and Pauline Masekela, a teacher and social worker who became president of the National Council of African Women. In 1947 his family moved to Alexandra, a town with few amenities and a high crime rate. Masekela quickly encountered racial injustice. He saw an eight-year-old friend struck and killed by a white driver who did not even stop his car. In 1947 his uncle was murdered by two white men who got off with reprimands and fines.

On the other hand he was profoundly influenced by Father Trevor Huddleston a white Anglican priest and anti apartheid activist who was chaplain of Saint Peter s the Johannesburg boarding school ...

A version of this article originally appeared in The Dictionary of African Biography.

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