Hugh Ramopolo Masekela (born 4 April 1939) is a South African trumpeter, composer, and singer. Masekela was born in Kwa-Guqa Township, Witbank, South Africa.
He began singing and playing piano as a child. At age 14, after seeing the film Young Man with a Horn (in which Kirk Douglas plays a character modeled after American jazz cornetist Bix Beiderbecke), he took up playing the trumpet. His first trumpet was given to him by Archbishop Trevor Huddleston, the anti-apartheid chaplain at St. Peter's Secondary School.
Since 1954, Masekela has played music that closely reflects his life experience. The agony, conflict, and exploitation South Africa faced during the 1950s and 1960s: This inspired, influenced him to make music and also spread political change. He was an artist who in his music vividly portrayed the struggles and sorrows, as well as the joys and passions of his country. His music protested about apartheid, slavery, government; the hardships individuals were living. Masekela reached a large population that also felt oppressed due to the country's situation.