Can­cer puts Hugh off-stage

Leg­endary mu­si­cian has been on prostate can­cer treat­ment since 2008

The Sunday Independent - - NEWS -

LEG­ENDARY jazz mu­si­cian Hugh Masekela has can­celled all his com­mit­ments in­clud­ing his per­for­mances due to ill health, he said in a state­ment is­sued yes- ter­day.

Masekela has been bat­tling prostate can­cer and has been re­ceiv­ing treat­ment since 2008 when doc­tors dis­cov­ered a “speck” on his blad­der, the state­ment said. While it ap­peared to be suc­cess­ful, he had to un­dergo surgery in March 2016 as the can­cer had spread.

In a state­ment re­leased by Dream­catcher Mul­ti­me­dia on be­half of Masekela, the Stimela hit­maker has urged all men to have reg­u­lar checks.

“Check your own con­di­tion. Ask ques­tions, de­mand an­swers and learn ev­ery­thing you can about this can­cer, and tell oth­ers to do the same,” he said.

Masekela shared how an­other tu­mour was dis­cov­ered in April 2017 while he was in Morocco.

“I fell and sprained my shoul­der. I be­gan to feel an im­bal­ance when I was walk­ing and my left eye was trou­bling me and sub­se­quently in April I had an emer­gency treat­ment and the tu­mour was neu­tralised,” he shared in the state­ment.

The leg­endary trum­peter says he will need all his en­ergy to con­tinue the fight against prostate can­cer.

“It is a tough bat­tle but I am greatly en­cour­aged by the good wishes of fam­ily, friends and ev­ery­one who has sup­ported my mu­si­cal jour­ney, which re­mains the great­est source of my in­spi­ra­tion.”

Masekela says he is in a “good space” but won’t re­lease any other state­ments. He has asked for pri­vacy in or­der to rest and heal.

Ac­cord­ing to the World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion, can­cer is the sec­ond lead­ing cause of death glob­ally, with 8.8 mil­lion can­cer-re­lated deaths world­wide in 2015. Lung, prostate, col­orec­tal, stom­ach and liver can­cer are the most com­mon types of can­cer in men, while breast, col­orec­tal, lung, cervix and stom­ach can­cer are the most com­mon among women.

Al­though he won’t per­form, the Masekela Her­itage Fes­ti­val will go on at Rockville Soweto’s Elkah Sta­dium on Novem­ber 4.

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