The family of legendary South African jazz musician Hugh Masekela announced on Thursday that his funeral would only be open to family members, close friends and industry colleagues.
Family member Lesetja Masekela said having a private funeral service was fulfilling one of the wishes that ‘Bra Hugh’ had stated before he died.
Lesetja said the Hugh Masekela Heritage Foundation had organised a number of festivities around the country to celebrate the life and times of ‘Bra Hugh’, as Masekela was affectionately known.
“We are yet to decide on the date of his funeral, the the date will be communicated some other time. But the funeral service will only be opened to family members and close friends. Yes, it was his wish to have a private funeral. The public and the media is welcome to attend any and all the other ceremonies,” Lesetja said.
Lesetja said government had approached the family about bestowing an official funeral for Masekela, but the family remained adamant that it would give him the private funeral he had requested.
Masekela lost his long battle with prostate cancer on Tuesday after he was diagnosed in 2008. He was 78.
He had been very private and kept a low profile since his condition worsened in October 2017, even cancelling scheduled performances and staying at his home on doctor’s orders.
Masekela’s doctor, Yastira Ramdas, said that the jazz legend had been a courage patient who put up a brave battle against the illness, and had left a strong message for men to get tested for prostate cancer frequently.
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– African News Agency (ANA)