portrait of a man

Abdullah Ibrahim by Lex van Rossen

Abdullah Ibrahim was discovered by Duke Ellington, fought against apartheid, and played at Nelson Mandela’s inauguration. The South African jazz legend speaks to LUX from his Cape Town home about his hopes and dreams

My favourite view…

The stars in the night sky over the green Kalahari.

The best place to listen to jazz…

Where your chosen jazz musicians are playing.

Where you’ll find the coolest new bands…

In the place you least expect.

The only thing I’ll queue up for is…

A masterclass with a master.

Most overrated tourist spot…

The beach.

Most undiscovered tourist spot…

The unlisted one you discover.

man outside in shirt and tie

What I love about Cape Town…

The flowers and animals.

My favourite smell…

Musk.

I feel most at one with nature in…

The desert, hills and rivers.

The best local dish…

The traditional dish prepared at home.

My favourite memory is…

The next one.

What I think of the youngest generation…

I was once like them.

If I live to be 200 I would like to see…

If that bird at daybreak still sings the same song.

My proudest achievement is…

Realising and accepting that the process of learning is boundless.

My greatest fear is…

Becoming complacent and lapsing into a comfort zone.

My biggest regret is…

Not doing enough to seek for knowledge.

Find out more: abdullahibrahim.co.za

This article originally appeared in the Autumn/Winter 2020/2021 Issue.