He is regarded the "father of South African jazz." Masekela was famous for his jazz compositions and for writing popular anti-apartheid songs such as "Soweto Blues" and "Bring Him Back Home".
Masekela mentioned his Zimbabwean roots during an interview with a Herald Reporter he said that:
“I was born in Witbank but my great grandfather came from Great Zimbabwe. Our real surname is Munyepawu we are Karangas. We were adopted by the Batogwas (numeric people in the Limpopo Province) in the mid 19th century.
“My great grandfather was a Lutheran evangelist so he came with some German missionaries to convert the Tsongas, Ndebeles and Vendas.
“The Munyepawu were chief agriculturists at the time and (we had) to look for fertile land (which) is “masikela” and that is how we became Masekela. So coming to Zimbabwe is like (coming to my) spiritual home. That is why I’m always here,”
- , Hugh reveals Zim roots, Published: 17 September 2017 , Retrieved:23 January 2018