On Tuesday 23 January 2018, legendary South African musician Hugh Masekela passed away. Masekela’s family sent a statement confirming the news to the media.
“After a protracted and courageous battle with prostate cancer, he passed peacefully in Johannesburg, South Africa surrounded by his family,” read the statement.
The musician begun his battle with prostate cancer in October 2008. The cancer then spread leading to the jazz veteran undergoing eye surgery in March 2016 to stop it from spreading. He then returned to the theatre again in September 2016 as another tumour was discovered.
Masekela was born in KwaGuqa township in Witbank and began singing and playing the piano as a child. His music was inspired by the turmoil that South Africa went through during apartheid and he said it was used as a weapon to spread political change.
Masekela made an undeniable impact on the lives of millions through his music. The news of his passing was met by sadness by many South Africans on social media.
Here are some of the most touching tributes to Hugh Masekela on Twitter:
I feel like I knew #RIPHughMasekela in person. That is just how big a part of my life his music has been.
— Nyakallo Lephoto (@NyakalloLephoto) January 23, 2018
— IG:MasizoleSukwana (@MasizoleSukwana) January 23, 2018
— Thando Thabooty (@Thando_Thabethe) January 23, 2018
What a man, what a man! Thank you for pulling the nation through the tough times with your legendary music and still blessing us until today with that same magic. You shall be missed by us all. Hamba kahle Bab' Hugh. #RIPHughMasekela pic.twitter.com/qlGx1B1G3k
— Buhle The Voice (@BuhleTheVoice) January 23, 2018
Deeply saddened to wake up to the news that Bra Hugh has passed on. I will forever be grateful for the possibility to have met and worked with this humble man and critical thinker. South Africa lost an icon. #RIPHughMasekela pic.twitter.com/OQFWRr0JHT
— Ralf GUM (@RalfGUM) January 23, 2018
SA salutes an icon. A national treasure. Thank you Sir for everything you gave us, much more than just your legendary music and talent. #RIPHughMasekela
— Simon Grindrod (@SimonPGrindrod) January 23, 2018
— Kagiso Christopher (@KagisoWorld) January 23, 2018
The world has lost a hero, an icon, a difference-maker and a world class musician. Heartfelt condolences to family and friends. Robala ka kagiso Ntate Masekela. #RIPBraHugh #RIPHughMasekela pic.twitter.com/T470A0VGpO
— BabyBrotherAlbum (@Blaklez) January 23, 2018
— Karyn Maughan (@karynmaughan) January 23, 2018
Rest in Power Bra Hugh! ✊? pic.twitter.com/vXRqrzDWWG
— Tumi Sole (@tumisole) January 23, 2018
— Karabo Mokgoko ? (@Karabo_Mokgoko) January 23, 2018
— Phil Mphela (@PhilMphela) January 23, 2018