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Today’s Google Doodle Celebrates Late South African Jazz Legend Hugh Masekela On His 80th Birthday

Google is celebrating the late star's 80th birthday today.

Just about a year ago, Hugh Masekela lost a battle to prostate cancer, two months before his 79th birthday, which is on the 4th of April.

To commemorate the legendary musician and anti-apartheid activist on what would have been his 80th birthday, one of today's Google Doodles is of Bra Hugh.


He was one of the most celebrated jazz musicians in South Africa and the continent at large. He released countless albums and singles, some of which have become standards.

Alongside a gang of South African musicians of that era, including the likes of Miriam Makeba, Letta Mbulu, Caiphus Semenya and many others, Bra Hugh helped keep the apartheid government on their toes as they made music for the struggle. They acted as whistleblowers and encouraged the people in the fight against the oppressive apartheid government.

The musician had managed to achieve longevity. He had managed to remain a relevant musician in all eras, having worked with younger musicians such as Black Coffee, TRESOR, J' Something and a few others. A few weeks before his death, he was on the verge of collaborating with the rapper Riky Rick.

Bra Hugh lived the rockstar lifestyle while in exile in the States, and he survived it. He gave some graphic details of his adventures in debauchery in his 2004 memoir Still Grazing, which was reprinted in 2016 after having gone out of print years ago.

Other Google Doodles today celebrate what could have been Maya Angelou's 90th birthday, Senegal's Independence Day and a few more.

Read about Bra Hugh's life and career on Google, here and listen to our playlist of the artist's key songs below:


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Photo: Alvin Ukpeh.

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