Masekela’s memoir hits SA in Oc­to­ber

CityPress - - News - BINWE ADE­BAYO binwe.ade­bayo@city­

It’s been a long time com­ing for fans of Hugh Masekela who want an up­date on his life. This year, Masekela, in part­ner­ship with Ja­cana Media, will fi­nally re­lease Still Graz­ing: The Mu­si­cal Jour­ney of Hugh Masekela more than a decade af­ter its in­ter­na­tional pub­li­ca­tion in 2004.

“I don’t bite my tongue in this book, so I hope you’ve got some bail money,” said Masekela on Tues­day, when he signed the con­tract at Ja­cana’s of­fices in Joburg.

And while some read­ers may be ex­pect­ing a memoir about the life of a mu­si­cian, they’ll have to brace them­selves for a few po­lit­i­cal sto­ries dat­ing back to Masekela’s strug­gle against apartheid.

The book’s rights were held by Masekela’s la­bel, Sony Records, which sold them to Pen­guin Ran­dom House. The rights were only re­cently re­leased back to him.

“Peo­ple are al­ways ask­ing where they can get the book and now I have some­thing to tell them,” he said.

Above all, Masekela, known for his of­ten con­tro­ver­sial opin­ions, hopes his words will give read­ers courage.

“I think we have be­come dumbed down – not by free­dom it­self, but by the hype of be­ing free,” he said.

“I want peo­ple to take courage from what they read here – that is the value I’m most con­cerned about,” he said.

But the re­lease of the book has hit a bit of a speed bump. Masekela re­cently re­turned from a Euro­pean tour, where his lug­gage was stolen on a train, along with 56 pages he had writ­ten.

“I lost 56 pages, my ex­pen­sive pairs of shoes, three of my favourite ties, my lint re­mover – all the im­por­tant things,” he joked, warn­ing the au­di­ence to guard against trav­el­ling with an ex­pen­sive suit­case.

Still Graz­ing should be on the shelves by Oc­to­ber.

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