South African artists Thandiswa Mazwai, Sipho ‘Hotstix’ Mabuse, Madala Kunene and Sjava have been confirmed for the 2019 Hugh Masekela Heritage Festival at the Soweto Theatre in Johannesburg, South Africa, on 9 November. The festival, which is in its fifth edition, seeks to uphold Hugh Masekela’s eclectic and broad vision of African culture, music and heritage.
Other confirmed artists include Thabang Tabane, Bombshelter Beast, Sun Xa Experiment, Luma and the New Moon dance ensemble.
“This fifth instalment is a significant and important juncture in the life of the festival,” the Hugh Masekela Heritage Festival organisers said. “The first since Bra Hugh’s passing, held in what would have been his 80th year, as well as debuting at the historic Soweto Theatre, the festival continues to evolve as a magnet for diverse South African performers and audiences.
“The festival will offer a family ambiance with a children’s area, a variety of food and drink, as well as arts and crafts for sale. Complementing this overall atmosphere inside the Soweto Theatre will be the Hugh Masekela No Borders Tribute Installation. The installation features memorabilia, records, recordings, trumpets and photographs of a life loved and lived.”
Festival organiser Mabusha Masekela said: “This year’s centrepiece is a specially curated presentation of Hugh’s six decade-long musical output featuring the unique talents of Thandiswa Mazwai and Bra Hugh’s last touring band. With a nod to the obvious impossibility of this proposition, the aim is to get a taste of Hugh’s variety, while still anchored in his roots. The combination promises to be inspirational.”
Thandiswa Mazwai will pay tribute to her friend and mentor Masekela by performing a selection of his songs alongside the Hugh Masekela Band.
“I obviously love Bra Hugh’s music, but I’m very sad that he is no longer with us,” Mazwai said. “I am afraid I might cry on stage. Our friendship was one of the most important relationships of my life, nothing could prepare me for doing Hughy’s music without him, so this is a very special show for me.”
Sipho ‘Hostix’ Mabuse added: “The Hugh Masekela Heritage Festival is a worthy celebration of the legacy of the iconic African giant, Bra Hugh. The boy is still doing it and grazing.”
Tickets to the event are available here.