Laudation for the winner of
Hugh Masekela © Günther Klebinger
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD FOR HUGH MASEKELA
Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends of the Africa Festival,
this year the Africa festival is honoring a man and his work who is one of the most important figures in African music for many decades. He is a true ambassador for the continent’s music because he brought the sound of Africa to all over the world.
But he is not only one of the greatest musicians that ever came out of Africa. He is a great human being too. He was and still is true and serious fighter for peace, justice, freedom and human rights.
He has fought many struggles in his life but he never became a bitter man. I deeply admire that he never lost his charme and his good humor. One example: At his last year’s concert here in Würzburg he introduced himself as “Klaus Adolf born in Wiesbaden”. There, he told the audience, he fell into the river Rhein and was carried through rivers and seas until he stranded on a beach somewhere in Africa.
When he is playing his music on stage he literally seems to be half as old than he actually is. You can experience that in a few hours over there in the big circus tent.
This year it is an extraordinary honor for me to hand over the Africa festival’s Lifetime Achievement Award to a living legend of African music, the musical voice of fight against Apartheid in South Africa, the late great and the one and only HUGH MASEKELA.