It was with a sad heart that I wrote up one of today’s stories: jazz musician and teacher Hotep Idris Galeta passed away.
Hotep was one of the first interviews I did when I started out as a music journalist, while I was living in Cape Town. He was so warm and friendly, and full of knowledge – knowledge he was so eager to pass on. He remained that way, up until I last saw him a few months ago in Cape Town.
He may not have been as well known as Abdullah Ibrahim or Hugh Masekela, but Hotep was more comfortable behind the scenes, as writer Evan Milton attests in this piece he wrote last year. But the contributions Hotep made should not be forgotten and will live on in the many young students who gained so much from his wisdom and warm smile.
Hotep’s death comes in a year in which we’ve lost many a wonderful soul, like Winston Mankunku Ngozi, Robbie Jansen, Rex Rabane and Ezra Ngcukane. As the new Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile says, it’s been a sad year indeed for jazz lovers.