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We all know Sal Masekela as ESPN X Games host and former E! personality. But, behind his personality and the dreads that we love so much, is the story of Selema Mabena Masekela, son of famed musician and activist, Hugh Masekela.

Alekesam tells the story of Hugh Masekela – exiled from his family and native South Africa for over 30 years as a direct result of Apartheid. Undaunted, he would find musical success in America with the 1968 number one hit, Grazin’ In The Grass, and in 1971 he would father a son, Selema Mabena Masekela. Yet shortly thereafter, Hugh would make the choice to leave America and his son for Africa, in an effort to reconnect to his homeland through music and create awareness about the situation in South Africa.  

39 years later, Selema, better known as ’Sal’ Masekela, reflects on his relationship with his father, the accompanying issues of abandonment and addiction, race and self, and the conflicts that influence the choices we make in our lives. Alekesam explores the story of a father exiled from his country, a son exiled from his father, and their mutual attempt to connect to the world, and each other through music.

Director Jason Bergh says of the film, “[It] happened by accident; a beautiful, perfectly timed accident for which I will forever be grateful. 

Alekesam will premiere during the Tribeca Film Festival. For more on the film, check out AlekesamTheMovie.com

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