Shabalala put our country on the world map: Ramaphosa

President Cyril Ramaphosa
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President Cyril Ramaphosa has described the founder of the Ladysmith Black Mambazo Joseph Shabalala as an excellent ambassador of South Africa.”He put Zulu and South African culture as well as his home town of Ladysmith and our own country on the world map.”

Shabalala died on February 11 at a Pretoria hospital at the age of 78. His funeral is under way at the Ladysmith Indoor Sports Centre in KwaZulu-Natal. Ramaphosa delivered the eulogy at the funeral.

“He was the quintessential outstanding ambassador of our country in Germany, Japan, Australia, America and all over the world people knew about Ladysmith Black mambazo and they also knew about Joseph Shabalala,” says Ramaphosa.

President Cyril Ramaphosa  says Shabalala was a musical genius and a prolific composer.

Artist Mbongeni Ngema says Ladysmith Black Mambazo was able to collaborate with global artists during the difficult times of the cultural boycott of South Africa.

The grouph has received 5 Grammy Awards and rose to international stardom when they worked with Paul Simon on the album Graceland in 1986.

Ngema is among the mourners attending the funeral.

“I negotiated with Jonny Makhatini at the ANC office to speak to Tambo for Mambazo not to be stopped by cultural boycott from going to America. That’s how the group was able to work with Paul Simon. I’m glad I was able to contribute towards the group,” says Ngema.


Ladysmith Black Mambazo bid farewell to the late Joseph Shabalala

The Cultural and Creative Industry Federation has told mourners at the funeral that local artists should learn from the group that unity can take them forward.

Speaking on behalf of the federation, Joy Mbewana says Shabalala was one of the few artists in South Africa who had managed to sustain his life.

“Shabalala is one of the artists in South Africa who was able to sustain his life. Most of our artists die as paupers,  which means there’s still a lot that we need to do as the creative industry have a huge role to play in what is happening in our country. From Shabalala we should learn that unity and doing things together can take us forward. Ladysmith Black Mambazo has left a legacy in the whole of South Africa, it has represented us and has shown the importance of art,” says Mbewana.

Speaking on behalf of Shabalala’s grandchilden, Babuyile Shabalala says his grandfather often emphasised the importance of love and respect.

Joseph Shabalala’s grand children recalls all that that Joseph has taught them