Legendary Ladysmith Black Mambazo founder, Shabalala passes away

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The South African music industry has once again lost a legend as the passing of Ladysmith Black Mambazo’s founder, Joseph Shabalala was announced, today (11 February). He was believed to have passed away in a hospital in Pretoria this morning. The news of his passing was confirmed by the group’s manager, Xolani Majozi.

Shabalala, 78, had been battling with his health since his retirement from the group five years ago. The Mambazo group he founded in 1960 has won five Grammy awards and travelled the world, putting South Africa’s music scene on the map in an innovative way. 

The South African Government confirmed the sad news in a condolence tweet, ” We would like to extend our condolences on the passing of Joseph Shabalala who was the founder of the group Ladysmith Black Mambazo. ” Ulale ngoxolo Tata ugqatso lwakho ulufezile.”

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