Text: Culture Reporter
Joburg Theatre, in collaboration with The Hugh Masekela Heritage Foundation, will usher in Africa Month with a heart-warming celebration of Hugh Masekela’s theatrical music in an exclusive four-performance season on The Mandela stage, from Thursday, May 3rd to Sunday, May 6th.
Bra Hugh, as he was affectionately known, graced stages across the world, playing to Presidents and ordinary working people alike. He stood tall in the dark days of apartheid, highlighting Africa’s, and South Africa’s plight to the world. A brilliant and headstrong artist, he was never shy to express his views about the African Continent.
He was an integral force in the creation of South Africa’s most successful international musical Sarafina! which had an incredible run on Broadway from 1988 to 1989, with a parallel cast running in Europe and Australia. He later initiated a musical theatre revue called Songs of Migration, which toured South Africa, Europe and the United States of America.
His last theatrical offering was Gone Native: The Life and Times of Regina Brooks, which he musically initiated, composed and directed. It was staged successfully at the Soweto Theatre in 2017.
The performances taking place this May will include a melodic and dramatic tapestry of songs from Sarafina!, directed by Mbongeni Ngema, Songs of Migration, directed by James Ngcobo, and Gone Native: The Life and Times of Regina Brooks directed by Makhaola Ndebele. The celebration will feature renowned Thandiswa Mazwai & Sibongile Khumalo, who have previously collaborated with Bra Hugh.
As we celebrate Africa and Worker’s month, this tribute will showcase some of his best known theatrical songs and compositions. It will feature contributions from some of his most loved collaborators and will shine a spotlight on South African talent. They will be joined by a select group of eminent musicians who worked with Bra Hugh, as well as his members of the most recent Masekela touring band.
Tickets range from R150 to R300. These are available by visiting www.joburgtheatre.com or calling 0861 670 670, as well as through Webtickets. For group bookings of 10 or more, please contact the theatre directly on (011) 877 6853/6815.