World-renowned Grammy Award-winning group Ladysmith Black Mambazo says it is prepared to develop and nurture local isicathamiya music.

The group is celebrating 60 years in the music industry and held a landmark concert at Pietermaritzburg to mark the occasion.

Isicathamiya is traditional Zulu music. The group has recorded other isicathamiya groups to preserve the music genre in the country through its Ladysmith Mobile Academy.

The group also introduced other isicathamiya groups under the programme called LBM Music Mobile Academy.

Singer and son of Joseph Shabalala, Sbongiseni Shabalala, says they are happy to be part of the celebration in South Africa as this is where they initially got support.

“This year, we are celebrating sixty years since the group was formed. As part of our celebration, we are launching new isicathamiya groups that we found when we were going around the country through our programme called LBM Mobile Academy. We go to the schools and to the communities and we found school choirs and we have recorded them and we ask the community to support them.”

The acapella group, founded by Joseph Shabalala in the 1960s, shot to international fame after being featured in a Paul Simon album called Graceland in 1986.

The following year, Ladysmith Black Mambazo hit the global stage with tours internationally.