Johannesburg - Fans of Afro-jazz maestro Hugh Masekela (78) will see little of him in the next few months, after he was forced to cancel several upcoming shows once again, on the advice of his doctors.
The world-renowned musician poured his heart out in a statement, released on Friday, informing his fans that he had been battling prostate cancer since 2008 and would be out of the public eye until further notice.
“I have cancelled my commitments for the immediate future as I will need all my energy to continue this fight against prostate cancer,” the legendary trumpeter said.
In May, Masekela cancelled shows and public appearances for two months, having undergone a medical procedure after falling and suffering a shoulder sprain.
He recovered and performed at several events until last month, when he hit another health snag and was forced to cancel at least three commitments – the DStv iRock Jazz Legends Concert and the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz festival, just after undergoing surgery on his left eye, and a planned collaboration with local hip-hop star Riky Rick while he took time out to recuperate.
And now, just when he was expected back on stage, his fans have learnt that he will no longer perform at this weekend’s DStv Delicious International Food and Music Festival in Kyalami.
He will also miss the fourth annual Hugh Masekela Heritage Festival, taking place in Soweto on 4 November.
And his official website shows that he was billed to perform in London on 14 November.
Masekela revealed that he was first diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2008.
“The treatment seemed to be successful, but in March 2016 I had to undergo surgery as the cancer had spread,” he said.
“In April 2017, while in Morocco, I fell and sprained my shoulder. I began to feel an imbalance when I was walking and my left eye was troubling me.
"Another tumour was discovered and subsequently, in September 2017, I had emergency treatment and the tumour was neutralised.”
Masekela said he was in a “good space as I battle this stealthy disease”.
He encouraged all men to “have regular tests to check your own condition” and learn about prostate cancer.
“This will be the only public statement I make on the matter, and I ask for privacy going forward so that I may rest and heal,” he concluded.