'The Voice' of South Africa celebrates 20 years of freedom

The World
Hugh Masekela and Vusi Mahlasela on stage October 14, 2014, at Carnegie Hall in New York.

Hugh Masekela and Vusi Mahlasela on stage October 14, 2014, at Carnegie Hall in New York.

Dana Distortion Yavin Photography/Courtesy of Vusi Mahlasela 

Freedom, justice and harmony: These are three words important to South African singer-songwriter Vusi Mahlasela. 

He uses them to describe what's still needed in post-apartheid South Africa these days, even after 21 years of democracy. As Mahlasela says, "Freedom is not enough." Economic freedom is what's required now, he argues, and "that's what we're struggling and fighting for back home." 

As an elder statesman, he struggles a bit to make sure the younger generation understands the impact music had during apartheid, a bit fearful that "our kids will forget." But, he's not that pessimistic. He notes that songs are still being sung from the townships, vibrant songs about hope that encourage action in some way. 

And that's exactly what Vusi Mahlasela and Hugh Masekela are doing in the United States. The duo are on tour in the United States, celebrating 21 years of freedom and post-apartheid South Africa.  

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