Remembering South African Singer and Composer Bab’ Hugh Masekela
If you have been following me on social media (particularly Facebook) then you you should already be familiar with this story. Nevertheless, I did mention earlier on that morning that I had woken up with a very pleasant memory of the late great Bab’ Hugh Masekela – the legendary South African singer, composer & musician who passed away on January 23rd, 2018 from prostate cancer.
Having said that, I’ll first confess that I honestly still don’t remember much about the day when I finally got to meet him, but I do recall that it was about 8 years ago and it was on a very random weekday, plus I was out at the Soul Candi Records‘ Studios with my boy & fellow cohort, V.underground Ultra-Tone (Vusi).
We (V & I) were actually about to step outside – specifically to the rooftop of the building – for a quick smoke break, but little did we know that we were (fortunately) about to meet one of the greatest African musicians to ever walk this planet.
Anyways, as we were walking up a flight of stairs we faintly heard a (fairly) familiar voice coming from behind us. When we quickly turned around to see who it was we just couldn’t believe our eyes.
I mean, there he was: BAB’ HUGH MASEKELA HIMSELF, IN THE FLESH! Smiling, laughing, ‘chit-chatting’ with this lovely white lady, and then suddenly he made a funny joke about the height difference between myself & V.Underground.
This being the case, to cut a long story short (no pun intended), we all stood outside for a few minutes and, during that whole conversation, neither Vusi nor I ever thought for one second that it would be a great idea to capture that rare moment with a camera.
I think aside from being too excited by the brief discussion about potential music opportunities, we were just too caught up in the moment, star struck and (somewhat) in awe about how humble – if not approachable – Bab’ Hugh Masekela was.
There was also something quite special about the warm handshake he had and his laughter would just make you pause for a second.
In light of this, I’ll admit that we have indeed lost a very great man and I will forever be grateful to have exchanged a few words with him, even though it was only for a few minutes.
May his legacy live on through his music 🙏 gone but not forgotten.