STILL GRAZING, the musical journey of Hugh Masekela

: Masekela (H.) & Cheers (D.M.)

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394pp., illus,. paperback, Reprint, Johannesburg, (2004) 2015

 

Autobiography of South African jazz musician Hugh Masekela.

"Even though 'Still Grazing', Hugh Masekela’s biography, carries a subtitle that refers to his musical journey, the book is, in a word, the spiritual journey of black South Africans. Very few people have straddled so many eras, from the early sixties before the teeth of the Group Areas Act started biting, during a period of renaissance in the arts, through the years of exile that spanned almost three decades, to the years in post-apartheid South Africa. While a well-known raconteur and bon vivant, Hugh Masekela's journey is a representation of the invincibility of the human spirit. He has endured everything life could throw at him, from reaching stellar heights in his musical career to trawling the depths of desperation in active addiction. In all these different circumstance, Masekela has conducted himself with singular courage. His story, then, told in an accessible language that connected with all walks of life, is a story of a man who refused to be defined by circumstances that had defeated many of his peers. Anyone who has worked with him will attest to a greatness of spirit of a man who spurs us to excel in all our strivings. To the people in the international arena, Masekela's name is synonymous with the name of the country of his birth, South Africa." Mandla Langa

"He lived to put his native South Africa on the front stage. Not with a gun, but with his trumpet. Singing and playing deep into the heart of apartheid darkness; bringing light and hope. Laughter and rebirth. Touching lives. Giving hope. Helping to rebuild the land of his birth. Sharing his vision for a better world for the children of tomorrow. Hugh Masekela ... A genius of our time ..." Don Mattera

"Music is the soaring theme that carries a rough ride … Hugh Masekela has survived it all, tells it all ardently, ribald and honest, from his admirable perspective of wisdom gained." Nadine Gordimer

"A wild tale as forceful and engaging as a Masekela trumpet solo." Paul Simon