Renowned musician and founder of the multi-Grammy-award winning vocal group, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Joseph Shabalala, passed away today, (11 February, 2020), in Pretoria, at the age of 78 years old. In 1964, Shabalala formed the legendary Ladysmith Black Mambazo, specialising in Isicathamiya.
In 1993, the group accompanied former President Nelson Mandela to Oslo, Norway where he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. When the late Nelson Mandela was inaugurated as the country’s first black President, he asked them to perform at the celebration.
The legendary musician was given honorary recognition for his contribution to the arts in South Africa and abroad, and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the Durban University of Technology on 21 April 2015 at Steve Biko Campus’s Fred Crookes Sports Centre.
Shabalala has performed with international musicians such as Michael Jackson, Lucky Dube, Dolly Parton, Paul Simon, Eddie Murphy and Yvonne Chaka Chaka.
Over the past few years, it was reported through various media platforms that Shabalala’s health had deteriorated, which resulted in him retiring from the group in 2014. The family will release an official statement later today with more details on his funeral notice.
Pictured: Joseph Shabalala (in front) with the rest of the Ladysmith Black Mambazo group.
DUT Communications Team