After seeing the film Young Man with a Horn, his passion for trumpet was ignited. He was 14 when he got his first trumpet as a gift from Archbishop Trevor Huddleston, the anti-apartheid chaplain at St. Peter’s Secondary School (now St. Martin’s School, Rosettenville). He would later form the band, Huddleston Jazz Band, with his friends from school who were also interested in playing musical instruments. This band was the first South Africa’s youth orchestra.
Maybe for few of them in the band, playing the instruments was just one of those skills of a misspent youth, but for Masekela, the playing of the trumpet was the beginning of a career that would consume him like nothing else matters.
He later developed his style of music that depicted his life experience. Also the exploitation of the people of South Africa in the fifties into the sixties inspired and influenced most of his songs. His music fought against apartheid, slavery and the hardship imposed on the people by the government. This gave his type of music recognition across Africa and beyond.
Beyond the shores of Africa, Masekela style of music was appreciated for his fusion of Jazz with African rhythm and the stories behind his songs. This style of music turned Masekela into a legend and father of South African Jazz.
And now, after many years of influencing more than one generation with his music, the legend finally said his goodbye—he passed on peacefully after battling with prostate cancer.
He may have exited, but his legacy will stay with us like the Bring Him Back Home.