On Thursday, the family of Hugh Masekela announced that the legendary musician’s funeral will only be open to family and close friends.
This was announced at a media briefing hosted by the Hugh Masekela Heritage Foundation. The family expressed their gratitude for the support of fans around the world.
“It has been truly incredible to see the passion with which the world wants to continue to celebrate and to help us grieve and it has given us, truly, an immense amount of strength,” said Masekela’s son, Sal.
Masekela was diagnosed with cancer in 2008. His family announced his passing on Tuesday attributing the death to prostate cancer.
Dr Yastira Ramdas, the radiation oncologist who provided medical care for Masekela, said “[Masekela] was such a strong-minded, full-of-life, spirited individual. He really was a true inspiration to all cancer patients. He fought hard and he fought till the end.”
A member of the Masekela family, Lesetja, said Masekela wanted a private ceremony.
“I think we have really tried to accommodate everybody with the memorials that we’re having and would urge everybody who wants to pay their tributes and last respects to at least attend those memorial services,” he added.
Fans will be able to share their tributes through the memorial events the family has organised.
A musical memorial will be held at the University of Johannesburg’s Soweto Campus on Sunday.
On Friday, family, friends and the artistic community will share their memories at a memorial celebration at the Alexandra Township.
From January 26 to February 1, a Hugh Masekela Park will be created to host a temporary audiovisual presentation at Zoo Lake from 10am to 6pm every day.
The date for the funeral is yet to be determined by the family.