South African lifestyle and entertainment blog

Throwback Thursday: Hugh Masekela–Thanayi ft. Thandiswa Mazwai

Hugh Masekela is one of the South African music industry’s greatest treasures. Born and bred in Kwa-Guqa, Witbank, Hugh started playing the trumpet at the age of 14. I remember an interview he did a few years ago where he told the story of how he got his first trumpet.

When he was 14 years old he saw the film "Young Man With A Horn" which was an autobiographical film based on the life of Bix Beiderbecke. Archbishop Trevor Huddleston from St. Peter’s Secondary School gave him his first trumpet and was the one who asked Uncle Sauda of a well known band to teach Hugh how to play the instrument. Since then Hugh has been in love with his trumpet and it has opened many doors for him. There was a time when he and other South African musicians went to exile and their music was banned in South Africa. This was attributed to the political nature which some of their songs had.

Hugh Masekela

In America, he pursued many other musical interests and his "Up, Up and Away" became a very popular hit in the year 1976. Another one of his hits, "Grazing in the Grass" which was released in 1968 sold over four million copies. His commercial success in the States saw him headline many music festivals and gained him much acclaim. He also won a Grammy for the Best Contemporary pop Performance – Instrumental in 1968. He has since then returned to South African in the 90’s where he collaborated in the development of the Broadway play Sarafina! He has also released some very successful albums.

Below is a video of one of my favourite Hugh Masekela songs, simply because it reminds me of my childhood. It is a song with Thandiswa Mazwai called "Thanayi". Enjoy!


Hugh Masekela–Thanayi ft Thandiswa Mazwai

Article written by:

Richmond Sajini is a musician and media entrepreneur in the public relations, television, radio and retail spaces in South Africa. He studied Public Relations and Communication at the University of Johannesburg and has worked on brands such as Coca Cola, Tsogo Sun, Heineken as well as the South African National Roads Agency. He has been told to shut up many times by people who don’t understand that he is in love with the sound of his own voice. For this reason he decided to start his own blog where he would share his thoughts and experiences without inhibition. Visit his blog, and follow him on Twitter @richmondsajini.


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