Bra Hugh honoured for promoting social justice

Hugh Masekela accepted a Keeper of the Flame award in the US last night.

SA jazz great Hugh Masekela performed a mournful solo of one of Miriam Makeba songs in Johannesburg on November 15, 2008. Picture: AFP

WASHINGTON DC - South African jazz maestro Hugh Masekela was on Sunday honoured for his role in using music to help push for social justice.

Masekela, who is up for a Grammy in February, was among the recipients of the Keeper of the Flame award at the African American Churches' Barack Obama inaugural ball last night.

Masekela said Obama's second term was a dream realised.

"It's like a summary of the last 74 years of the life I have lived; where I have seen people of African ancestry all over the world march towards the gates of freedom."

He said he believed it had resonance for South Africa too.

"Barack Obama and Nelson Mandela wouldn't be without the billions who have marched with them."

Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile was on hand at the ceremony too.

Masekela, songstress Lira and house group Micasa will later perform for Obama at the ambassadors' Inaugural Ball in Washington.