Bra Hugh Plans to Create a Rainbow Vibe, Soweto

The New Age

Fungayi Kanyuchi

Photograph by Gallo Images

World-acclaimed jazz artist Hugh Masekela has roped in his jamming buddies from yesteryear – Tshepo Tshola and the Soul Brothers – to grace the second annual Hugh Masekela Heritage Festival in Soweto.

The festival will also see Beatenberg, Jeremy Loops, Laurie Levine and Josie Field strum their stuff before Hugh Masekela takes to the stage to share a body of music that stretches over half a century of creative input.

Explaining the inspiration behind this initiative, Masekela said: “As Africans we don’t really know who we are.

“We are the only people that imitate other cultures, and as a result we don’t sell anything, yet there is no other group that owns a richer cultural diversity of music, dance, language, architecture and history than Africa.

“We have been discouraged from being ourselves and we believe our heritage is backward, primitive, heathen and barbaric so much so that the people who inculcated this thinking in us don’t even need to work on us any more. We have our own people working on us on that.”

On the heritage festival concept, he said: “It came from wanting to recapture the old times, when there was mutual admiration between different tribal groups, when they gathered on weekends to sing and dance.

“We would then have people from the suburbs come and join in and this is the rainbow vibe I intend to create for the festival.” he said.

Headline sponsor Assupol’s Mariëtte Oosthuizen said: “Music, entertainment and good food are an integral part of this inventive festival and we are both honoured and excited to be part of it again.

“It showcases some of our brilliant local talent, which promises an even more memorable experience than last year’’

The festival, which started off last year under the theme Sekunjalo, takes place at Soweto Cricket Oval on November 29.