Hugh Masekela Goes to the World Cup

Hugh Masekela and his son, Sal, together explore the people, culture, landscapes and history of South Africa.

Hugh Masekela, long past his football days. Image: Wiki Commons.

I, too, am in full World Cup frenzy. And while Puma gets Sean’s vote, I think I might have to go with ESPN on this one. Their 2010 World Cup coverage will feature “a 10-part series that offers an introspective look at the country of South Africa through the eyes of one of the host nation’s renowned ambassadors.” In “Umlando” (Zulu for “Through My Father’s Eyes”), the jazz music legend and antiapartheid activist Hugh Masekela and his American-born son, Selema, an ESPN reporter for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, will “explore together the people, culture and inspiring landscapes of South Africa, and the nation’s history.” Read more here, including a rundown of the episodes. It also gets serious: “… The series captures aspects of the elder Masekela’s life, from memories of his childhood and learning the traditions of his ancestors to offering his impressions of living in South Africa under draconian Apartheid laws.”

As for Hugh Masekela and football, there’s nothing. We do know that Hugh, in a music video, once fancied himself a sweeper of sorts.

Hugh and Sal also recently spoke with Jason Von Berg of South Africa’s Times Live about this project. Listen here. As Sal says, he and his dad are going on a road trip this summer, and they’re inviting us along.

UPDATE. Here are some clips: a visit to Mpumalanga Province, one of the most spectacular parts of South Africa, and one to Durban in Kwazulu-Natal, where they visited a school and talk HIV/AIDS with students.

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