Rhodes gives Hugh Masekela an honorary doctorate

Times Live

Photograph by Nikita Ramkissoon

Jazz icon Hugh Masekela will receive an honorary doctorate from Rhodes University Thursday 9th April.

The university said Masekela was “without doubt one of South Africa’s most successful artists and his influence on world music has been nothing short of phenomenal”.

“The university is ideally placed to acknowledge Masekela’s unique appreciation of the struggles of ordinary people in their movement between town and country‚” spokesman Zamuxolo Matiwana said.

“It is located in the Eastern Cape‚ the source of the migrant labour depicted in his Stimela song‚ an area that forcibly or otherwise recruited labour for the urban centres of South Africa for at least two centuries.

“Awarding Masekela an honorary doctorate recognises both his inestimable contribution to South African music and its place in the world. It also contributes significantly to the vision of making International Library of African Music at Rhodes‚ a living monument to African musical accomplishment of which Masekela is one of the most formidable examples.”

The university will also award honorary doctorates to Public Protector Thuli Madonsela‚ art expert David Koloane and former Vice-Chancellor Dr Saleem Badat on Friday‚ while on Saturday‚ welfare activist Professor Francie Lund will receive an honorary doctorate.

Lund is most well known for chairing The Lund Committee of Enquiry on Child and Family Support in 1995‚ which led to the establishment of the Child Support Grant in 1998.

She also led major research initiatives‚ including a landmark project in the 1980s which attempted to map the scale of inequity in welfare provision‚ particularly in the Eastern Cape‚ and the deficit in provision between the previous “white” South African system of welfare and the appalling provision of welfare for blacks located in the “Bantustans” such as Transkei and Ciskei.