Just five days before the last show of “Songs of Migration” we took the opportunity organised by the American Society of South Africa (ASSA). Moving music, great voices – especially Sibongile Khumalo -, and unbelievable if I would not have seen and heard him: Hugh Masekela.
Bra Hugh, how he is called here, has played with the who’s who: Abdullah Ibrahim (formerly Dollar Brand), Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Miriam Makeba, Harry Belafonte, Paul Simon, … . Seeing him perform tonight you can’t believe that he is in his seventies: Singing, dancing the Limbo, playing his trumpet, singing and dancing again without a pause.
As if a great show was not enough, ASSA had organised a get together afterwards, where James Ngcobo, Sibongile Khumalo, and Hugh Masekela joint in for a glas of wine. Monique did ask Hugh for a recipe staying such fit and energetic. Him: “Do Thai-Chi”
In addition we met Sol Rachilo, the author of “Nostalgic Waves from Soweto”, poetic memories from the June 16th uprising. This 81 year old poet is fascinating, a living history book. He worked with and was mentored by Athol Fugard while Fugard just was carving out his first steps in his own climb to International fame. He experienced how Sophiatown and its cultural life was destroyed and was likewise his family victim of the forced removals. Sol’s father then opened the first bookstore in Soweto.
Since Sol was involved in Raven Press, he might be the missing link for a oral history project I have i mind around the book “Two dogs and freedom”. In turn I might be able to help getting his latest book (which recently was translated into Danish) translated into German.