February 23, 2024

Hugh Masekela Biography, Age, Death, Wife, Children, Family, Wiki & More

Updated On : April 5, 2019

Short Biography

Hugh Masekela was born on 04-04-1939 in Witbank in the state of Mpumalanga, South Africa with Aries birthsign. He is South African & Musician, Singer, Composer, Recording Artist & Autobiographer.

Other Name: Hugh Ramapolo Masekela, Father of South African Jazz
Other Professions: Composer Recording Artist Singer Songwriter Autobiographer

Hugh Masekela Complete Bio & Career

Hugh Ramopolo Masekela was a world-renowned bandleader, flugelhornist, trumpeter, composer and a singer. His father was an activist and it was he who gifted him a trumpet seeing his son’s interest in music. He started off by forming a jazz band in South Africa. He relocated to New York City in the year 1960 and enrolled at the noted Manhattan School of Music. He was trained by Louis Armstrong and Dizzy Gillespie. He was asked by his mates to show the world African style rather than getting influenced by the American style as he could bring something new to the table.
He finally received his debut album titled Trumpet Africaine in the year 1963. This was just the beginning of another 40 albums which released in his 5-decade long glorious career. He put South Africa on the world map through his music and brought an African flare which became inevitable in modern day’s music. Besides Album, he has performed at various prestigious events in the US and earned a niche for himself.
After Nelson Mandela got released in 1986 and ANC was unbanned, he returned to South Africa after 30 years. He released his autobiography called Still Grazing: The Musical Journey of Hugh Masekela. He was asked to perform at the coveted FIFA 2010 World Cup event. He was highly praised for his performance and was honoured with the highest order in South Africa: The Order of Ikhamanga. Then in 2011, he a Lifetime Achievement award at the WOMEX World Music Expo in Copenhagen, Denmark. He released his last album titled No Borders at the age of 77. 

Hugh Masekela Popular Videos

Health Issues, Illness and Death Info

He died on 23-01-2018 in Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa. He died by Prostate Cancer at the age of 78.

DEATHDAY 23 January,2018 (Tuesday)
DEATH PLACE Johannesburg, Gauteng

Hugh Masekela Family, Relatives and Other Relations

He was born to Thomas Selema Masekela and Pauline Bowers Masekela. Activist, Barbara Masekela was his younger sister. He first married Miriam Makeba in 1964 and separated from her in the year 1966. He then married Chris Calloway, in 1968 and the couple divorced soon after their marriage. He then married Jabu Mbatha in the year 1981 and divorced her in 1997. He then married Elinam Cofie in the year 1999. He had 1 daughter named Motlalepula and a son named Sal Masekela

Life's Important Dates Of Hugh Masekela

Body Measurements

Skin Colour Black
Eye Colour Black
Hair Colour Salt & Pepper

Personal Info

Home Town Witbank, South Africa
Nationality South African
Religion N/A
Address Johannesburg, South Africa
School N/A
College Guildhall School of Music, London
Manhattan School of Music, New York City
Qualification Degree in Music
Hobbies Playing musical instruments
Marital Status Married
Debut Album - Trumpet Africaine (1963)
Best Friends Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and Charles Minus.
Salary N/A
Net Worth N/A
Official Website https://hughmasekela.co.za/


Favorite Sport Football

Shocking / Interesting Facts & Secrets About Hugh Masekela

  • He was honoured with a Google Doodle on his 80th birth anniversary.
  • He started an NGO named Hugh Masekela Heritage Foundation.
  • He was nominated for Grammy Awards 4 times in his career.
  • After Apartheid broke out in South Africa in 1960, he left South Africa and went to London. From there, he went to the US and stayed there for 30 years and returned in 1990 after unbanning of ANC and Nelson Mandela was released.
  • Numerous universities, including the University of York and the University of the Witwatersrand have awarded him honorary doctorates.

Hugh Masekela Age, Birthday Facts and Birthday Countdown

Hugh Masekela was 78 years 9 months & 19 days old age.