There are people who travel to Salt Lake City to dive into their family tree in books. Others email, phone and write every known relative seeking information where they came from.
For Selema Mabena Masekela this trip is a time travel as he swings from the branches of his family history and is being led to his roots by his father. Sal was born in the states, a first generation American that has always known his dad’s homeland.
This is not his first trip to south Africa, but this is the deepest. Traveling for two weeks with his 70 year old father who can again call this land home. Sal was born during his father apartheid exile, and the knowledge is not purely being passed down by “talking story,” this trip is being documented by hock film for espn’s coverage of the world cup, and Hugh is showing his son up close and personally what shaped his life.
The childhood homes, the places of influence, why he became so influential in the freedom movement, family members and the reasons for migration are being discussed and explored. The two see each other often, but being half the world away from each other for most of Sal’s life has had its stains on both parties.
This trip is actually both a coming together and a healing of small wounds. Sal is walking a kilometer in his father’s shoes. There is a reason they share the same smile, laugh and charisma, and we are discovering why right with them via the people, the music and the culture that Hugh is a sum of.