From the Series
In this exclusive interview conducted after his surprise performance at Design Indaba Conference in 2011, trumpeter and jazz maestro Hugh Masekela talks about the central place of music in his life. "Music in Africa is a part of everything," he says.
A pivotal personality in the creative community that underpinned the struggle against Apartheid, Masekela recounts how he got into the industry and was helped along by greats such as Miriam Makeba, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis and Harry Belafonte. "Music and theatre were a great catalyst for freedom," he notes.
Music galvanised, emboldened, comforted and informed many people when access to information was limited under Apartheid. Many times it was itself banned. For this reason he has championed the importance of protecting our musical and cultural heritage in South Africa. "We have to hold our heritage up as a mirror to the world."