The Most Rev. Thabo Makgoba, archbishop of Cape Town, posted a tribute on his blog to Hugh Masekela — regarded as South Africa’s “Father of Jazz” and composer of anti-apartheid songs — who died Jan. 23 at age 78. Makgoba also noted the Anglican Church’s role in starting Masekela on his journey. He writes:
On behalf of the Anglican Church, and on my own behalf, I extend our condolences to Hugh Masekela’s nearest and dearest family and friends.
Hugh Masekela’s legacy is that of an inter-generational institution, someone who across generation after generation articulated our people’s experiences and reflected our evolving history through music.
His songs of migration in particular are a testimony to history as we lived it. In that history there was laughter and there was pain, but it provided the fuel we needed to help us overcome adversity and power the struggle for human liberation.
Not only did he help us, by his inexhaustible creativity and his timeless genius, not to forget the past — he also inspired us not to give up imagining the possibility of us becoming better people who can build a better world to live in.
His collected works will remain a well from which future generations can draw to quench their thirst for a uplifting message and an enriching energy to carry themselves to greater heights.
It was through Father Trevor Huddleston that he received his gift of a trumpet, and he did not disappoint. The church is thankful not only for his life but also for having been able to use his talent to the full.