That gift, and Huddleston's encouragement, kept Masekela focused. With his cousin Jonas Gwangwa the trombonist and Miriam Makeba, who would later become his wife (from 1964 to 1966) they got parts in the musical King Kong. After the local run of King Kong, Masekela left for London, where he hooked up with Huddleston again. Huddleston had been kicked out of SA for his opposition to apartheid. In the UK, he was active in the anti-apartheid movement.
After London, Masekela went to New York where he studied music at the Manhattan School of Music.
Before leaving SA, Masekela had already made a milestone - together with saxophonist Kippie Moeketsi, pianist Dollar Brand (now Abdullah Ibrahim) and Jonas Gwangwa - as The Jazz Epistles they recorded the first LP of modern African jazz in South Africa.
While in the States, Masekela's friendship with Huddleston endured. But they crossed swords when Masekela toured with Paul Simon on his Graceland tour.
Huddleston felt that the tour was an insult to the anti-apartheid movement as it broke the cultural boycott against SA. Masekela, on the other hand, felt it gave poor musicians from SA a chance at international exposure.
"Him and Hugh fought a lot on matters of political strategy," explains Mda.
After 1994 Huddleston came back to SA and stayed at an old-age home in Florida. "Of all the prominent ANC activists, only Hugh still had time for Huddleston. He was neither angry nor embarrassed with Huddleston who had picketed him during the Graceland tour."
That is the humanity of the man who was born on April 4 1939 and passed away on January 23 2018. He was a cultural asset of South Africa.