"As I battle this stealthy disease, I urge all men to have regular tests" - Hugh Masekela
Over the weekend, South African Jazz legend Hught Masekela (78 years old) released a statement informing the public of his on-going battle with prostate cancer. The letter read as below:
“Dear Friends and Media
I have been in treatment for prostate cancer since 2008 when doctors discovered a small “speck” on my bladder. The treatment seemed to be successful, but in March 2016 I had to undergo surgery as the cancer had spread.
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.
It is a tough battle but I am greatly encouraged by the good wishes of family, friends and everyone who has supported my musical journey, which remains the greatest source of my inspiration.
I have cancelled my commitments for the immediate future as I will need all my energy to continue this fight against prostate cancer.
I’m in a good space, as I battle this stealthy disease, and I urge all men to have regular tests to check your own condition. Ask questions, demand answers and learn everything you can about this cancer, and tell others to do the same.
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."
A feeling I identified as fear and an overwhelming sense of sadness came with sudden haste. The man is alive and all things being considered he may be alive for a lot longer but it occurred to me that I really am not ready to hear news of his passing should it be imminent. It would be as heartbreaking as the feeling I felt earlier on this year when Ray Phiri’s health gave out.
The cycle of life is one that’s easy to understand and accept but sometimes when a person makes an enormous contribution to the way our childhood memories sound and the mood of Sunday afternoon’s ever since - the possibility of them passing knocks you off your center a bit. It made me incredibly tender and I have been listening to his music almost exclusively ever since and what a groovy and vibrant musician he is. We are truly fortunate that he has shared his art with us.
At Kwesefied we wish Bra Hugh good health and a speedy recovery. We also hope African men heed his advice and visit their doctors rooms for regular check-ups.
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