- Nana Akufo-Addo has extolled the credentials of the late South African jazz musician, Hugh Masakela
- The President was in South Africa for the funeral of the late musician
- Masekela was born on 4 April 1939 in Witbank and died in January 2018
President Akufo-Addo has rained glowing words on the late Hugh Masekela following the demise of the South African Jazz artiste.
Akufo-Addo joined hundreds of friends, family and loved ones of the late musician as his funeral was held in South Africa.
In his tribute to the jazz legend, the President described him as a ‘unique and compelling’ person who never took no for an answer.
The President also acknowledged Masakela’s significant role in fighting apartheid in South Africa, saying Masekela used his music to influence many.
“He bore his exile with dignity. He never lost his belief that the inhuman system of apartheid would be dismantled, and that South Africa would, one day, be free. And he did his best to ensure that happened. He was one of the most prominent of the South African exiles, who kept the struggle alive before the eyes and conscience of the world, and he did it largely through his wonderful music,” President Akufo-Addo said.
Nana Addo added that Masakela has known the South African music great for over 50 years, recalling their time together when they used to club around the world.
“What an amazing life he lived, and did virtually everything he wanted to do. We met a long time ago, nearly 50 years ago. Predictably, for both of us at the time, it was at the bar of Keteke, then the hottest night club (or disco, as they were then being called) in Accra. He was already a legend – “King Kong”, and “Grazing in the Grass” had seen to that.
“But, he wore none of that. Simple, straightforward, he exuded fun and warmth. Many drinks later, we became firm friends, and looked out for and saw each other at various clubs across the world – New York, London, Paris, Lagos, Abidjan, Lome – wherever we were together, we would meet and party. Nobody partied like Masakela. From the beginning, that is what I called him – Masakela – and he called me Nana. It never changed. For some reason, I could never come to terms with Hugh or Bra Hugh. He was Masakela, unique and compelling,” Akufo-Addo stated.
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