the township of alexandra (alex)

this is where hugh masekela grew up, it was bad then, worse now.  it was established in 1912 and is in central johannesburg. the square mile may have up to 1 million people in it.  since the repealing of the apartheid laws, which restricted movement for the black population, there has been considerable population increase in alexandra from within south africa and from neighboring countries seeking employment opportunities. gangs, drugs, poor electricity, water, sewage, while trash lines the streets.

hugh said that back in the day when it was 1/10th of the people there that there is now, those in hiding were hardly ever found, with it’s numbers now … it is impossible.
despite all this, alex is a close community taking care of their own and with the hardships there was laughter, tranquility and a fond remembrance of hugh there.  as we drove up an old neighbor’s greeting was a joyous reunion with stories of a noisy horn being played.  hugh is universally loved where ever we have been, and he gives the love right back – not as the star he is, but as the person he is.  it is a pleasure to witness


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