Hugh Masekela’s Football Skills

There's no record that Hugh Masekela could play football. But he acted like he could kick a ball in a music video.

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

In 1984, the South African trumpeter and bandleader,  Hugh Masekela, released the single “Don’t Go Lose It Baby.”  The song appeared on the album, “Techno Bush.” An uptempo, cheerful song (sample lyrics: “A winner and a loser /A loser and a winner /Let me tell you that’s the name of the game”) made it to number two for two weeks on the dance charts that song. The song has a nice beat to do it. It can set any party alight. Then Masekela shot the music video. The result is probably the only footage of Masekela showing off his football skills. Well, he runs around with the ball  and at one points nutmegs himself. Masekela also has a philosophy about winning: “When every winner’s name /Is in the Hall of fame / And you’re a winner when you beat the game.”

This is not the Hugh Masekela of “Stimela.” My sense is Masekela is an Orlando Pirates fan.

But back to the music video for “Don’t go lose it baby.” Watch from the 1:36 mark. Masekela also pretends to be a football coach for a minute as he raps with the ball in his hand.

The video looks like it was shot in Lesotho or Botswana (the backup band looks like Sankomota), which is where Masekela lived for parts of the 1980s. (He also lived briefs spells in Liberia, Ghana and Nigeria.)

Since then, the closest Masekela came to a football pitch, was when he performed in stadiums, including for a warm up concert during the 2010 World Cup. In this case, for example, he was performing a Miriam Makeba standard with the singer Lira (who is mimicking every Makeba move in the song).

Ht: Antoinette Engel

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