South African jazz musician Hugh Masekela has died.

Legendary South African jazz musician Hugh Masekela has died at the age of 78, following a battle with prostate cancer.

Masekela's family issued a statement confirming his death: "After a protracted and courageous battle with prostate cancer, he passed peacefully in Johannesburg, South Africa, surrounded by his family."

Known as "the father of South jazz" Masekela achieved global stardom through his music and activism. In addition to his two Grammy Awards, his contribution to South Africa was celebrated when he was awarded the Order of Ikhamanga in 2010.

Watch the video below as we honour  Hugh Masekela's life:

Statement from M-Net:

It is with great sadness that M-Net has learned of the passing of musical legend Hugh Masekela, a leader and stalwart of the music and entertainment industry worldwide.

His legacy, contribution and influence on the music world will be long remembered and treasured.

“Hugh Masekela told the South African story in an inimitable way. Through his music, the fight for democracy reached audiences all over the world, and to us, he was the voice of hope during dark times. Hugh was recognised by the greatest musicians in the world. He played alongside jazz legends, incredible contemporary and chart-topping musicians, and is one of a few to have been at the famous Rumble in the Jungle. I have some very precious personal memories as he was a close family friend and a major inspiration to me as a young musician,” says Yolisa Phahle, CEO General Entertainment, MultiChoice. 

Today, South Africa, the rest of our continent and the world remember a man who touched lives in a magical and meaningful way.

M-Net and MultiChoice will be honouring his legacy with the following specials on Mzansi Magic Music (DStv channel 321):

  • The Best of Hugh Masekela Special at 12:00  (this will be available on Catch up from 18:00 tonight)
  • Friends of Hugh Masekela at 13:00.
  • Hugh Masekela Live at the Market Theatre at 14:00. (this will be available on Catch Up from 18:00 tonight)

These specials will be repeated over the next few days.