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Opinion | Jan 24, 2018

Hugh Masekela (1939-2018)

Hugh Masekela
Hugh Masekela
Hugh
Masekela
was huge
like the sound
of his horn,
Heaven’s Trombone,
huge as
the Drakensberg
and Cape Town’s
footstool of God,
yet small
smooth and
magical like
a Leprechaun
when the clouds
have been lifted
and the sun
has begun
to sprout
like leaves…
grazing
in the grass,
verdant clumps
of Afro-Jazz…
Makeba’s
pitti-patta
pattering
all over the roof
in torrents
of love…
deep-throated
plosive sounds
of your trumpet
that knew
no bounds,
Jessie-Marie,
the daintily packaged
gift when
Miriam’s sun set
and the world
came crushing
momentarily,
it would be
Elinam,
the last and
most loved
that would gather them
and hold them
all together
again –
the deep-throated
sounds
of trumpet
and sax;
Jerry Hansen
knew that too,
contraction
of neck veins
and guts,
vaporous beads
of sweat
over forehead,
globe-pumped
balloons –
E T
knew this too,
lorgorligi thumps
of kpanlogo,
tight lips
and taut
cheeks
and the feathery
swoosh down
the Eustachian
tube
of bullet trains,
arpeggios
and the fleet-footed
fingers of
the jazz pianist
roiling up
the mood,
woof and weft
of deftly threaded
silken sound
of a Kente
sash,
the beep
and bop
of Satchmo’s
kite-like
strains,
upended calabash
in a pail-full
of tears,
God’s temper
tantrums and
thunder peals,
the wailing
of worms,
I bet Dibango
was there too,
tall and naked
to the pate
underneath
the coconut trees,
this sandy beach
of sandalwood,
the waves
emerge
with the smile
of the surf,
Vuvuzelas
whiplash
the headland,
beneath
the storm
a human shape
in the form
of roots…
(Unedited)
1/23/18
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr.
Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D., © 2018

This author has authored 4365 publications on Modern Ghana.
Author column: KwameOkoampaAhoofeJr

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