Joseph Shabalala carried the torch of isicathamiya to the world, says music guru
The 78-year-old isicathamiya musician helped introduce the sound of traditional Zulu music to the world, recalls music journalist Sean Brokensha.
They carried the torch of isicathamiya culture to the world.Sean Brokensha, music journalist
Shabalala founded Ladysmith Black Mambazo in the early 1960s.
He developed his craft while herding cattle and had dreams about the soft, spiritual melodies that the group later became famous for, Brokensha explains.
The legendary choral group has been recognised across the world as one of South Africa's cultural ambassadors.
Shabalala retired from the multi-Grammy award winning group about five years ago due to his deteriorating health.
Tributes have been pouring in on social media and the South African government has extended its condolences.
We would like to extend our condolences on the passing of Joseph Shabalala who was the founder of the group Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Ulale ngoxolo Tata ugqatso lwakho ulufezile. #RIPJosephShabalala [Photo: Flicker: Seth Gordon] pic.twitter.com/Sazg9hoWew— South African Government (@GovernmentZA) February 11, 2020
BREAKING: World-renowned isicathamiya musician and Ladysmith Black Mambazo founder, Bab' Joseph Shabalala has died. Under his leadership, his group has won 4 Grammys and carved a legacy in the music industry locally and abroad.— SAMRO (@SAMROMusic) February 11, 2020
Condolences to his family and industry colleagues. pic.twitter.com/rfYSwrks74
We would like to extend our condolences to the family, friends and fans of uBab' Joseph Shabalala founder of @therealmambazo May your soul rest in peace. Uyidlalile indima yakho kwezomculo. We love you 💔 #YourLegacyLivesOn ✊ pic.twitter.com/NPtyNM3T23— Soweto Gospel Choir (@Sowetogospel) February 11, 2020
Listen to Sean Brokensha reflect on Joseph Shabalala's life:
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