*Hugh Masekela’s address at Rhodes University was one that found him voicing a disdain for a dwindling sense of heritage among youth.
But that apparently took a backseat to his open dislike of girls wearing weaves or hair extensions. The revelation was expressed to a student who took a picture with the legendary South African trumpeter.
“You’re lucky that you were sneaky enough to have him take a picture of you next to me, otherwise I would have refused. I don’t take pictures with girls who have your kind of hair,” Masekela told the student, according to student journalist Sanele Ntshingana.
The entertainer, who was at the university to receive an honorary doctorate, continued his beef with weaves and hair extensions at a press conference.
“We spend about a billion rand on other people’s hair each year. I don’t even know where to begin on this issue,” said Masekela, whose honorary doctorate marked the fourth time Rhodes recognized him with such an honor.
In addition to weaves and extensions, Masekela’s issues regarding the youth’s sense of heritage included indigenous languages, storytelling and music. Referencing audience reaction to the address, City Press noted some who described Masekela as being “irritable” and “condescending,” while others “appreciated his direct approach.”
Weighing in on student activism and the removal of colonial statues, Masekela dismissed the topics while mentioning that the youth should direct their efforts toward “bigger problems” like poverty, inequality and crime.