Interview: Hugh Masekela on Songs of Migration and Heritage Restoration

October 25, 2012 § 2 Comments

Hugh Masekela and Sibongile Khumalo (Photos courtesy Kennedy Center)

Listening to Hugh Masekela speak on art, music and politics would make you think he is the eternal pessimist. But that would be only when it comes to politics. The 73 year-old trumpeter, composer and singer recently performed Songs of Migration at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC together with Sibongile Khumalo and a cast of singers, dancers and musicians. He took a moment to sit down with Kwame Fitzjohn from The African World on MHz to rap about his new show, politics, mines in South Africa, and what he optimistically calls “Heritage Restoration.” Songs of Migration, produced by Sibojama Theatre and directed by James Ngcobo, is Masekela’s tribute to late 19th century migrants from all over Africa heading to work in Johannesburg’s mines. Backed by a five-piece band, it is an effervescent display of song, dance

Hugh Masekela and his cast in Songs of Migration

and a bit of theatre, representing what Masekela calls an effort at bringing heritage back through entertainment, “showing the world the excellence of African peoples.” His dream of setting up an Arts center and cultural village has evolved, he says, into what Sibojama Theatre is now, an academy of young professional artists who will produce the kind of fare that Hugh Masekela hopes will spur the creation of not just more musicals, but physical spaces that will in turn become centers of learning and teaching of African culture, arts and history. Above is just a portion of his conversation with Kwame Fitzjohn. Special thanks to Alexzandra Bardwell-Morgan for stepping in to shoot the interview. You can find the full interview with Hugh Masekela on Afrofusion TV, and watch out for it on MHz. Bless…

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§ 2 Responses to Interview: Hugh Masekela on Songs of Migration and Heritage Restoration

  • Teto Tutuma says:

    Worthy… May we continually get the strength to tell our stories wherever…Thanks Masekela for setting the bar…

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