Renowned music producer, Dr Sipho Sithole says Professor Joseph Shabalala defied the colonial system that was meant to suppress and oppress black people and in doing so convert them into perpetual migrant workers.
Sithole delivered the memorial lecture in honour and celebration of the life and times of Shabalala.
He says Africans left villages under very difficult circumstances because life had been sucked out dry by a colonial system that had taken over the land and left black people with land that they could not even cultivate whilst imposing various taxes on black Africans.
He added that these were some of the circumstances that black Africans found themselves in which forced them to go seek employment in the cities in order to pay the imposed taxes.
Sithole speaks to the build-up towards Ladysmith Black Mambazo’s success.
“For a man to leave at the age of 15 on the New Year’s Eve of 1959 to start to an unknown land to start a new life, one would have thought that all he was ever going to become was to be just a migrant worker but he became a firm himself, he became an institution and created this Ladysmith Black Mambazo that is known all over the world and won Grammy Awards so the migrant labour system was defeated by Joseph Shabalala.”
Legendary Ladysmith Black Mambazo founder Joseph Shabalala being remembered: Sibongiseni Shabalala