'Bra Hugh' launches lecture

MUSIC icon Hugh Masekela will tackle the issue of identity crisis when he launches his annual lecture tomorrow.

The inaugural lecture, which also celebrates Masekela's 75th birthday, is a collaboration between University of Johannesburg's Faculty of Humanities and wRite Associates - a project management company with a focus on arts, culture and heritage.

It will take place at UJ's Soweto Campus. Masekela said he has been obsessed with heritage restoration, and felt it was crucial to tackle the topic. He said it was a fact that many children today did not know how to speak African languages.

"We are becoming a society that imitates other cultures but yet we have the biggest diversity of heritage. We don't even know who we are any more."

He argues that people were not clued up about many aspects of their heritage beyond politics. Bra Hugh, as he is affectionately known, further said he was putting together a trust that will promote heritage restoration.

"The promotion of heritage will happen in the form of academies, where youth can learn the languages and arts and culture. The trust will stage productions that have to do with heritage and poetry."

Masekela said the idea of the lecture came up with Morakabe Raks Seakhoa, the managing director of wRite associates, who approached UJ. He said the lecture will be conducted with his close friend and Zimbabwean singer Oliver Mtukudzi.

The panel will include former Fort Hare University SRC president Nomsa Mazwai and author and UJ's professor Njabulo Ndebele.

Seakhoa said : "Bra Hugh's iconic status as a musical, arts and human rights activist in Africa and the world remains inspiring and worthy of celebrating in South Africa and beyond."

The lecture will be followed by a concert that will take place at the Soweto Theatre on Wednesday, where Masekela will share the stage with Mtukudzi.



For more stories like this one, be sure to buy the Sowetan newspaper from Mondays to Fridays