WATCH | How Ladysmith Black Mambazo's Joseph Shabalala won Mzansi's heart

Joseph at the Amagugu Esizwe event on 3 April 2017 in KwaZula-Natal.
Joseph at the Amagugu Esizwe event on 3 April 2017 in KwaZula-Natal.
Image: Gallo Images / Daily Sun / Jabulani Langa

As South Africa mourns the loss of iconic Ladysmith Black Mambazo founder Joseph Shabalala, fans have been reminded of how much he contributed to the arts and putting the country on the map.

The veteran musician, who was 78 years old, died on Tuesday morning at Life Eugene Marais hospital in Pretoria, group manager Xolani Majozi confirmed to TshisaLIVE. 

He said Joseph was with his wife, Thokozile Shabalala, during his last moments. 

Joseph Shabalala, who helped introduce traditional Zulu music to the world, died aged 78 on February 11 2020. The musician was best known as the founder of Ladysmith Black Mambazo, which won five Grammy awards.

Under his leadership, Ladysmith Black Mambazo gave Mzansi serious bragging rights!

The group was nominated for awards more than 15 times and won a whopping five Grammys.

Whenever youngsters brag about black excellence in music at an international level, Ladysmith Black Mambazo is the example they use.

Joseph was a trailblazer

The man loved music and was unapologetic about pushing the authentic South African sound.

"As you see us here, we are representing the true South African sound ... We carry it in our vocals.”

He was a graceful and humble leader

When Joseph decided to retire, he was confident his children would do justice to his legacy.

"This is my time to sit down and it makes me happy because my children, they take over and they are doing it beautifully,” he said.

He embraced working with young people.

The group collaborated with Unathi on the beautiful Hallo Sana.

He never missed a note!

His leaderships skills aside, Joseph was immensely talented, which he proved time and again with his vocals and harmonies when on stage with the group. 


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