Legendary award winning group, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, has started visiting various high schools in KwaZulu-Natal as part of its Black Mambazo Mobile Academy programme.

The male choral group launched the Mobile Academy at Dondala Boutique Hotel in Ladysmith a few months ago.

Their academy is aimed at giving aspiring artists the chance to learn from the group and engage with its members.

This Mobile Academy is a programme that includes a series of music workshops aimed at educating and imparting talent to the younger generations.

The group says the academy is a vision of the founder, Joseph Shabalala, who always wanted to preserve the isicathamiya genre for future generations.

Plans are afoot for the group to travel across the country as part of its aims to groom upcoming artists.

Luthuli High School learners say they have learnt a lot from their engagement with the group.

“I have learnt a lot from the Mambazo as we witness their dance and music live here. I hope one day I will become an artist. We are very encouraged by the performances of the Black Mambazo. We have learnt how to become a successful musician and after all, we have been told to pride ourselves with our culture. Today, I have realised that, in fact, I will be an artist.”

Mambazo’s Managing Director Xolani Majozi says they are embarking on a nationwide tour to ensure that the youth embrace their culture and heritage through music.

“Ladysmith Black Mambazo Mobile academy is an initiative we are doing with the national Department of Arts and Culture. The purpose of this tour is to discover and develop fresh talent, especially an indigenous music accapela. Our focus is more on school kids in tertiary institutions and also artists in different communities around South Africa. This is a vision of the founder of Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Joseph Shabalala to inspire young people to make them realise the importance of embracing our African culture, heritage though music.”

Mdletshe Mazibuko, one of the veterans in Ladysmith Black Mambazo, says it’s always a great opportunity to share information and talent with the youth.

Mazibuko says they want to inspire both children and adults.

“To perform in front of these kids it means that we are bringing back what we have learnt around the world and to inspire and encourage them to be themselves.”

In about two years’ time, the group will be celebrating its 60th birthday.