Five must-read articles on Joseph Shabalala

Joseph Shabalala died on Tuesday morning after battling health issues.
Joseph Shabalala died on Tuesday morning after battling health issues.
Image: Photo by Andrew Lepley/Redferns

Shockwaves continue to be felt across the world after the death of Ladysmith Black Mambazo founder Joseph Shabalala.

Here are five must-read stories on Shabalala.

Shabalala's death

The legendary isicathamiya front-runner died in a Pretoria hospital aged 78.

He had been battling health issues for several years and retired from the group five years ago.

Shabalala was with his wife, Thokozile Shabalala, during his last moments.

Battle against health issues

Over the past few years, his health had deteriorated.

Earlier this year, he was admitted to hospital and those close to him asked fans to keep him in their prayers.

In 2017, he was admitted to hospital after his health became worse following spine surgery and he “struggled” to get back on his feet.

Denying “critically ill” reports

In 2018, band member Sandile Khumalo shut down reports that Shabalala was "critically ill”, insisting that he was recovering from an operation.

Khumalo asked fans not to panic after reports that Shabalala's health was deteriorating.

“No, he's not so critical. He's still going to therapy (to walk). Yes, he is not very well because sometimes he forgets other things, then his memory slowly comes back. He's old, but he's not critical. He's had an operation and he's been going to therapy to help him walk.”

Jacob Zuma Foundation sends condolences

In a statement, the former president's foundation said that Shabalala played a pivotal role in the shaping of the music industry.

“Prof Shabalala has contributed to the liberation of this country in the form of arts and other ways some might not know.

“He played a pivotal role in the shaping of the music industry in this country in particular.”

Mzansi expresses sorrow

After the news of Shabalala's death broke, many social media users took to Twitter to express their sorrow.

One said: “May your great spirit Rest In Power Baba Joseph Shabalala.”

Another said: “What an amazing legacy you left behind. We bow down to you Mkhulu ... it hurts but it’s ok”


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