Learners from the Joseph Shabalala Secondary School in Ladysmith, KwaZulu-Natal, are calling for Shabalala’s legacy to be included in next year’s school syllabus.

The school, which was named after the icon in 2016, held a memorial service for him on Tuesday morning.

Shabalala who was the founder of Grammy Award-winning group Ladysmith Black Mambazo died last week at the Life Eugene Marais Hospital in Pretoria following a long illness.

Grade 12 learners Aphelihle Magasela and Ndabezinhle Zulu say unless his life and contributions to the country are taught to the younger generation, his legacy will disappear.

Watch Magasela and Zulu as they pay their tributes to Shabalala:

Grade 11 learners Siyanda Dladla and Snothile Mdleke say they will make sure that the school’s name is respected.

“It is now our responsibility to make sure we protect the legacy of Shabalala and also make sure that we keep the school flying in terms of passing rate. This is the time to prove by actions that Shabalala was an icon,” says Dladla.

Parent Xoli Kubheka says Shabalala was more than just a music icon, but was a father and leader to their children.

“He was everything to us as the community of Ladysmith. He was financially supporting the school and even if there were challenges in the school, he used to come personally and tackle challenges.”

Nzuzo Ntuli says Shabalala’s influence led to the establishment of different choral music in the school.

Various dignitaries are expected to attend Shabalala’s memorial service later today at the Ladysmith Indoor Sports Centre.