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tv   HAR Dtalk  BBC News  January 25, 2018 12:30am-1:01am GMT

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years in prison for sexually assaulting young female athletes. larry nassar was jailed after a week of harrowing testimony from nearly 160 women — including olympic gold medal winners. a veteran us diplomat, bill richardson, has resigned from a panel set up in myanmar to advise on communal tension, and denounced the country's leader aung san suu kyi. and this story is trending on bbc.com — the owners of grumpy cat have won more than $700,000 in a copyright lawsuit. a us coffee company was found to be in breach of an agreement that used the cat's image on products other than their grumpuccino iced drink. that's all from me now. stay with bbc world news. now on bbc news, it's time for hardtalk. welcome to hardtalk, with me,
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zeinab badawi. my guest is south african jazz legend and political activist hugh masekela. his life and music have reflected the struggles of the anti—apartheid hero, and the years of black majority rule. so, why does he now describe south africa as "fast turning into a rubbish dump, and becoming removed from its authentic african culture"? hugh masekela, welcome to hardtalk. thank you, thank you zeinab. you were born in 1939 in witbank,
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100 miles east ofjohannesburg. you said "if i have a trumpet, i won't bother anybody". you say music is your religion? well, i was obsessed... i was actually bewitched by music from infancy. when i was five years old, my parents had to get me away from the gramophone and help me play the piano, with piano lessons. nine years later, i saw a movie about a trumpet player. it was a biopic, called "the young man with the horn". i had to play the trumpet. in fact, it was a man of religion, father trevor huddlestone, who gave you your first trumpet? he was a chaplain of my boarding school, st peters injohannesburg. yes, he was interested in everybody. he knew my parents, he knew everyone‘s parents. he was especially interested in restless people, like i was! i was in bed with a cold, i had bad flu.
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he said, what would make you happy? i was always in trouble with the authorities. when you're expelled in those days, there are no other chances. i said father, if i could get a trumpet, i would not bother anybody any more! he said, are you sure? i said i was positive! and with his last £15... with his last £15? yes, he sent me with a note to the music store. he knew everybody. the manager of the store was a scotsman, he said he was crazy, £15 for a trumpet? but he put in his own money to do it. everybody really respected him. that one act of kindness. and he was a great anti—apartheid activist, wasn't he? he got me a trumpet teacher. i already knew the rudiments of music as a piano player. i learned quickly. so we have trevor huddlestone is to thank for your legions of fans throughout the decades,
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for bringing us the work and music of hugh masekela? he was an amazing man. when he was deported from south africa, he fought apartheid harder than anybody at the time. he was obsessed with the freedom of south africa. he started the anti—apartheid movement when i came here. for 20 years, we had trafalgar square, where south africa house is, was occupied. let's see a clip of you performing. sadly not with your trumpet, but you're singing stimela at a venue in johannesburg about five years ago. 0k, should i watch? yeah! (singing). i love those special effects you did there. swaying slightly in my seat, i was! you have been performing of course for five decades, you played the trumpet, the horn, the comet, and you've been composing and singing. but it was
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a tough path to success for you? yes, few people are successful at success, especially in this business. to survive yourself, that is one of the greatest successes of success in my profession. your music is a fusion of jazz with traditional south african influences. why i say it was tough for you is because as apartheid began to advance, we found that there were no music schools or music lessons for black south africans, and a little bit later, in the early 50s, there was the bantu education act, which limited black south africans to three hours of schooling per day. that was very difficult. you said you knew your place and you never looked forward to getting anywhere in the world. that is tragic. yes, in south africa, it was not only for the indigenous child.
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any humane person was against the law in south africa, the paradox is the greatest activity in music in south africa happens during the apartheid era. great musicians came out of that era, like the great miriam makeba, partly because the environment was very safe, there were police coming out of the walls, and the trees, and everything. it made the environment safer for the entertainment business. the police were not there to protect them, but to perpetrate apartheid as much as possible. but it created... that is where we all came up. there was never any music schools for africans. there was not any lessons. myself, i learned injohannesburg.
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me and my cousin came out of the harrison band to play with professionals as teenagers. the people we learned from were in their 30s and 40s, it was a hard time. almost everybody i learned from died from booze. yes, you mention booze. you were brought up by your grandmother who ran an illegal drinking den. people all around you were drinking, including you yourself. you started drinking at 14? 13. 13? there you are. it is documented in your own autobiography. your struggle against alcoholism. you were an alcoholic by the time you were 20, 21? i did not know it. it was a respectable thing to be a great drinker. when it was illegal, it was one of the biggest business industries. among africans. south africa is probably like the biggest drinking country in the world today, because of that legacy. but, if you were a great drinker, you got major respect. it was a form of defiance.
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if your papers were right, you could walk up to a policeman as drunk as hell, as long as there was evidence, just say "would you like to see my papers?" just about everybody i learned music from died from booze. on my mother's family's side, except my grandmother, my mother and her aunt, everyone died from booze. you said even today, drinking is such a culture in south africa that people don't realise what it is doing to them? i don't know if you've ever seen the holiday statistics, at the end of the year. more than 17,000 people die a year in road accidents in south africa. and you are quite outspoken? as a critic of heavy drinking, obviously because of your experiences... everybody is.
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there's a major government initiative called "arrive alive", nobody listens because it is a habit. people have to be, if they leave the house, they have to drink... but you've battled it, and you've defeated your drink daemons. i've battled it and drug addiction. when i came to the states, it was a time in the music business of major drugging. when i moved to los angeles, there was the time of flower power. free love. it was a common past time. you moved to the us in 1960, the early 1960s. you were helped by friends of the international community. you married in the mid—1960s, the late great miriam makeba. i was brought to the stage by miriam and harry belafonte. i grew up with miriam. you married in the mid— 60s? we married “119611.
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i produced a lot of her records. we wrote quite a few songs. we worked together for over a0 years on and off. and you enrolled at the manhattan school of music, and enjoyed the tutelage of dizzy gillespie, louis armstrong, and that's when you began to develop your own unique style of afro jazz. i went to the stage as a bebopper. i was a jazz musician, but everybody said hey, you will be a statistic if you came here forjazz, but we would like to hear some of your african stuff. i was hoping to play with the best. clifford brown, lee morgan, donald byrd, kenny doran. all of the great trumpet players. and saxophonists, they came from there. they said, form your own group, we want to hear african stuff! dizzy said the same.
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of course, belafonte and miriam did. that was the only way i got noticed. otherwise you would not stand out... you think it was a result of your exile from south africa that you became the renowned musician that you are? no, ithink... i never looked for fame. i wanted to learn, i went to classical music school. i wanted to teach in south africa. having been in the company of major activists, belafonte was the biggest fundraiser for the civil rights movement involved in all of the fundraising. i learned from him more than anybody else. if you come from people underfoot, and you get yourjuice from them... if you don't talk about them, there's something wrong with you. you said on channel 4 news here in the uk five years ago
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"my music was never meant to be political or even campaigning, i just sought to connect". but we all know hugh masekela as an activist, an anti—apartheid voice, as much as you are a musician. well i came from an activist community. as children, we grew up in boycotts and rallies. we saw people like nelson mandela. they were in their 20s at rallies. we grew up with them. there were more than 30 million people underfoot. i think that the biggest liberators for south africa were those who made south africa ungovernable, and the ones who lost their lives. they were never mentioned. but, we grew up in an atmosphere of protest. again, in an interview in 2012, when you were asked what the best experience of your career was,
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you said returning home after 30 years of exile and having a second chance to start life in the arm of my folks has been great for me. but why were you away from south africa for 30 years? i couldn't go back after 1964, our passports were taken away. i travelled on a guinean passport and liberian passport. so it was not self—imposed exile, you were not allowed back until 1990? my mother died in 1978, and my sister and i could not go and bury her. miriam's mother died three months after she left south africa. we have heard about your
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self—imposed exile. you say you could not have gone back before 1990. no. i could have but i would have... the government was crazy. i could have gone to jail and who knows what else. you felt that was not worth taking? there were many others who went to jail and returned. in 1963, when i finished my studies, i said goodbye to miriam and i said that i was going back home, and i came here to england on my way back home and harry called me because miriam was very sick in hospital, and said, before you go... anyway, to make a long story short, harry said, look, if you go back to south africa, nobody knows you in the upper echelons of government. all they know is you have been hanging out with us. you are going to disappear. if you stay here and make a name for yourself, you can talk about your country and garner support for it. you heeded that advice and returned in 1990 when the anc was no longer
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banned and then we saw... all the political parties were banned. black majority rule came in in 1994. nelson mandela, with the truth and reconciliation commission, extending his hand to south african whites... you said you didn't think you have the power to forgive white people, that's what you told the observer newspaper in 2012. do you still stand by that? what powers do i have to forgive anybody? i am not a god. within yourself, do you not have the power to forgive? i have the right to keep what i feel. i was not able to bury my mother. i lost a lot of friends and relatives. more than that, there has never been a time in the history of human beings when colonising or
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occupational forces apologised and say, sorry that we took your land and we took all your minerals and we made these billions from your backs and we still have our businesses here, but here is £500 trillion to show you how sorry we are. when you see students at the university of cape town removing the statue of cecil rhodes, do you back them in that kind of... it was removed after it was damaged, defaced. personally, i think the issues that should be dealt with is the fact that nothing much has changed in south africa except that we vote. economically, we don't own the country as a people, we are oppressed. we own less than 3% of land. we don't own any of the businesses or the economy. the few africans who have been taken to be part of the business are drop in the ocean.
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that is the reality of the situation. economic, apartheid still exists whereby economic wealth in south africa is concentrated in the hands of white south africans? not only. community planning. architectural apartheid. in fact, i normallyjoke, if we are going to legitimise everything, maybe we should also, instead of outlawing apartheid, we should legitimise it, because it is still here. there are many, trevor manuel, former government minister in 2013, he says you cannot undo those decades of apartheid in a short space of time. it is not possible. he says you are a magician, the legacy of apartheid runs too deep to reverse in the short period. i am not a minister.
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do you agree that it will take more than 20 years to reverse apartheid? i don't think the onus will come from the administration. i think the political industry will have to come from those people who monopolise the economy of south africa. if the goodwill doesn't come from them, it has been a one—sided reconciliation. what do you make of the record of the anc with 20 years in power. it was the most... inequality has expanded under the anc. most liberation movements are fantastic during liberation. but when it comes to governing, we always have to ask, can you remember any liberation movement that is governed well? i don't remember any.
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because it is two different things. they inherit the power and from there you hope for the best. so far, we haven't seen it in south africa, not with mandela, not with the present government. is that why you said this year that we have crime, corruption and a country that is fast turning into a rubbish dump, that is very strong language. very strong. i think it is much worse. if you are free and you can't walk around at night in your own country, then what kind of freedom is it? there is a constitution, human rights, enshrined, gay rights and so on. it is all paper. there are gay rights but gay people have a rough time in the townships. you can write stuff down and you can decree laws but are they real?
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there are problems in england, and england is thousands of years old, but it has its fair share of everything from xenophobia to poverty. you have mentioned xenophobia. we saw that ugly face, well, not xenophobia, but afrophobia, where africans turned on other africans, be they nigerian or somali, they trashed their property and businesses and people were fearful for their lives. what did you feel? that song we played earlier is about migrant workers. it is a legacy of cecil rhodes and british colonialism, originally when they brought indigenous africans to south africa, they could only come in as endangered servants of migrant labour and they were segregated from the south african indigenous
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population, living in single men's hostels. the community was manipulated into thinking otherwise. you blame the old apartheid system and white colonial rule for the attacks that we saw? because that might not wash with everyone. i blame them for chaos across the world. you have said africa's problems are cultural. in 20 years, when my grandchildren ask who i am, i will say, it is rumoured we were once africans long ago. you feel africans are denigrating their own culture? the conquest and defeat of africans over the years, urbanisation, mis—education, politics and religion, have made africans think their own heritage is backwards and primitive and savage and barbaric and pagan.
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the colonials don't have to do the job anymore, africans do it for them. basically, africans have no idea of their history. it will create a situation where the new african academies can sprout up all over the world, where we can really learn the true history of africa, the kingdoms, how and why we were fragmented. when it comes to music you have also said all that is new and considered new today is electronic. there is no new music in south africa. in africa, period. there is plenty of...? the most recognised african musicians internationally are those that come from heritage music. that doesn't mean there are not people sticking to their traditions
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in their music. there are plenty playing on the continent who are popular. you accept that? if you can give me an example. miriam macaba's daughter, she sticks hard to local music in south africa. there are people who are singing in zulu and whatever. i mean don't get played on the radio, like hip—hop artists and djs, that is what has taken over. if you sang a song today, would it be a happy or sad song? a happy or sad song for africa? if i had to sing a song for africa it would be a song of wish and it would be down with the borders of 1886, that would be my song. hugh masekela, thank you very much for coming on hardtalk.
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i don't shake hands, do you mind if i hug you? laughs. yeah, sure. hello there. after the downpours and gales of wednesday, the weather prospects for thursday look a little bit quieter. this curl of cloud, that was storm georgina now pushing off to the north—east. what we now have feeding in is this speckled cloud, some showers pushing in from the atlantic, in fact, some heavy showers coming thick and fast into northern ireland through the first part of the morning. also some showers pushing in across the west country into devon and cornwall,
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some of these could be on the heavy side. 7 degrees there in plymouth. there will be some sunny breaks between those showers and that mixture of sunshine and showers extends across wales and into the west midlands, a cooler, fresher start to the day. four degrees in birmingham. you will notice a lot of showers across northern ireland at this stage, could be some hail and thunder and perhaps some wintryness over high ground, certainly the chance for wintry weather over high ground in scotland. temperatures in aberdeen, three degrees, four in edinburgh. some sunny spells. showers in north—west england, across north—west and east anglia and the south—east, a dry start to the day with spells of sunshine, cooler and fresher than it was on wednesday morning. through the day will bring this cluster of showers eastwards across just about all parts of the country. some of them could be heavy, thundery with hail mixed in. some wintryness over the high grounds over the north pennines, the southern uplands, but there will be spells of sunshine too and temperatures
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around 5—10 degrees. a fairly chilly feel i suppose, but it won't be as windy as it was on wednesday. during thursday night into friday, the showers will take time to fade away, but in western areas they will ease as the winds ease as well. it could turn cold enough for a touch of frost, this bump in the isobars, this ridge of high pressure will be toppling in during friday morning. after a frosty start for some we are looking at a decent day. spells of sunshine, bit of patchy cloud and thickening cloud into the west later on, but i suspect it will stay dry until sundown. those temperatures of around 4—9 degrees. temperatures will start to climb into the weekend, starting to bring in a more south—westerly wind and mainly dry in eastern areas on sunday, a fizzling weather front from the west, but temperatures climbing all the while because we will group bringing mild air from the south—west, on sunday it will be a pretty mild feeling day. generally large areas of cloud, some sunshine towards the south—east, some outbreaks of heavy rain into northern scotland, a windy day and a mild one too, 9—13 degrees.
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i'm rico hizon in singapore. the headlines: judgement day for a serial abuser. dr larry nassar gets up to 175 years in prison after heart rending testimony from team usa gymnasts. we were ultimately strong enough to take you down. not one by one but by an army of survivors. i will carry your words with me for the rest of my days. a veteran us diplomat quits his role advising myanmar on the rohingya crisis — saying aung san suu kyi lacks moral leadership. i'm babita sharma in london. also in the programme. south korea showcases security — with a smile — as it gears up
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