Mmegi Online :: Remembering Bra Hugh
Banners
Banners
Banners
Banners
Last Updated
Wednesday 21 February 2018, 17:14 pm.
Banners
Remembering Bra Hugh

From the music festivals’ photographers pit, located between the stage and the audience barricades, there is more to remember about him beyond his music. There was the mic, trumpet, cowbell, cabasa, tambourine, those signature get-down dance moves, and the ‘hey shut up and listen, I’m playing’. Mmegi photojournalist THALEFANG CHALRES remembers Bra Hugh
By Thalefang Charles Fri 26 Jan 2018, 17:03 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Remembering Bra Hugh








“Hey! Shut the f**k up!” bellowed Bra Hugh Masekela’s raspy sandpaper voice as he shouted at some excited old bloke donning a black beret from the audience who was screaming and cheering like a paid cheerleader to his music.

That was from the main stage of Dinaledi Hall at the 2011 Joy Of Jazz Festival in Newtown, Johannesburg.

Some of the mature crowd (which included the then deputy President of South Africa Kgalema Motlantle) inside the hall were left stunned. But those that really knew Bra Hugh were laughing at the great trumpeter’s reprimand. They said it was typical of him.

Bra Hugh was not the humblest of lambs out there. Despite being an icon of jazz music in Africa, liberation struggle stalwart and having played with the very best around the world, having survived the worst and led all passions - some that led him to rehabilitation houses and broke down his marriages - he was still feisty and at times plain arrogant.

He demanded the audience to listen to him, sometimes with the most colourful street lingo that would leave many in shock.

Bra Hugh hated flash photography and unauthorised video recordings. In 2015 when he was playing at the Botswanacraft in Gaborone he scolded some of the audience members who were shooting videos with their smartphones with flashlights on.

At some point he abruptly stopped the song midway and rebuked the audience members ordering them to “switch off those things” and adding a sharp authoritative “Hey! Tima!”

He would bark out those reprimands with his furious frown that could make one think he was about to throw the trumpet at them.

But on stage Bra Hugh was an entertainer who wanted to be taken seriously. Although he was usually jolly and happily entertaining, sometimes he brought out that dark character of his idol, Miles Davis - ‘the angry jazz man’ -

Banners

complete with his scowl and sandpaper voice.

That was when Bra Hugh turned egotistical and told off anyone who did not want to pay attention to his show. Lately, Bra Hugh sets were usually predictive.

He usually played his trumpet and percussion instruments mostly, cabasa, cowbell, and tambourine. He normally started smooth with his African blues like Strawberries, Marketplace and moved slowly to his up beat songs like Chileshe and Khauleza. He would customarily wind up with Khauleza at the end and the crowd will (almost always) call for an encore and that is when he will do the monologue of “Why are you so greedy? Why are you so pushy?” before he played Thanayi together with his signature get-downs.

Backstage, Bra Hugh was a black consciousness activist, who abhorred women’s weaves and flatly refused to take pictures with fans just because they were donning a wig.

In 2014 after his great performance at the Hamptons Jazz Festival at Duma FM Grounds in Gaborone when a bevy of beautiful women with weaves requested pictures backstage, Bra Hugh turned them down with a short lecture on why African women are wasting money buying hair.

Masekela believed that wigs and weaves are betraying African heritage.

He has been quoted saying, “It’d be hypocritical of me to appear in photos with people donning foreign wigs, chemically altered hairdos, Asian, European and South American extensions, except in cases where my refusal could result in my imprisonment, deportation or demise”. “From a spiritual heritage perspective, it feels awkward. I feel bad for them because they wear it with so much pride. When Steve Biko spoke about consciousness it was politicised, but it’s the same thing.”

When the feminists attacked him for his stance, Bra Hugh cleared the air, “I don’t take pictures with men who straighten their hair either... It’s got nothing to do with gender”.

Banners
Banners
Banners


Lifestyle
Fri 26 Jan 2018, 17:03 pm
Fri 26 Jan 2018, 16:59 pm
Fri 26 Jan 2018, 16:55 pm
Thu 25 Jan 2018, 17:00 pm
Wed 24 Jan 2018, 17:00 pm
Wed 24 Jan 2018, 17:00 pm
Wed 24 Jan 2018, 17:00 pm
Tue 23 Jan 2018, 17:30 pm
Tue 23 Jan 2018, 17:00 pm
Tue 23 Jan 2018, 10:00 am
Fri 19 Jan 2018, 15:56 pm
Fri 19 Jan 2018, 15:00 pm
Fri 19 Jan 2018, 14:08 pm
Thu 18 Jan 2018, 06:00 am
Thu 18 Jan 2018, 06:00 am
Thu 18 Jan 2018, 05:59 am
Wed 17 Jan 2018, 06:00 am
Tue 16 Jan 2018, 13:00 pm
Tue 16 Jan 2018, 13:00 pm
Tue 16 Jan 2018, 06:00 am
Fri 12 Jan 2018, 15:54 pm
Fri 12 Jan 2018, 15:47 pm
Fri 12 Jan 2018, 15:42 pm
Thu 11 Jan 2018, 15:31 pm
Tue 09 Jan 2018, 15:42 pm
Banners
Banners
Exchange Rates
FOREIGN EXCHANGE: Wednesday, 21 Feb 2018
FOREIGN / PULA
PULA / FOREIGN
1 USD = Pula   9.5420
1 GBP = Pula   13.3333
1 EUR = Pula   11.7647
1 YEN = Pula   0.0885
1 ZAR = Pula   0.8109
1 Pula = USD   0.1048
1 Pula = GBP   0.075
1 Pula = EUR   0.085
1 Pula = YEN   11.3
1 Pula = ZAR   1.2332
have a story? Send us a Tip
Banners
  • Previous
    Next
    Masa Centre
    ::: Thursday 22 Feb - Thursday 22 Feb :::
  • Previous
    Next
    Riverwalk
    ::: Thursday 22 Feb - Thursday 22 Feb :::
  • Previous
    Next
    Gamecity
    ::: Thursday 22 Feb - Thursday 22 Feb :::
Selefu
Botate! Botate! Nna Pele!
Banners
Banners
istanbul escort