Ladysmith Black Mambazo are currently on their US tour. They had just performed and were driving back to Los Angeles from San Diego when they found out the news of the passing of Joseph Shabalala.
Speaking from Los Angeles, Albert Mazibuko, the eldest member of Ladysmith Black Mambazo relayed how he and other members were doing following the news of the death of the group's founder, Joseph Shabalala. Shabalala died on Tuesday morning in a Pretoria hospital.
Mazibuko, who is 71 years old and has been with the group for 51 years, said he last saw Shabalala six months ago. "When I last saw him we did not speak about anything in particular, we sang the entire time because that is what we always did, we sang whenever we saw each other and he was in happy spirits," he said.
Reflecting on his friendship with Shabalala, the singer said there were too many things he learnt from his friend but the most important was hard work. "He was a very hard worker. Even when he retired he still worked with us now and then and he would get involved when he could. He also always said that if you like a song, practice it and know it, but make sure that the song knows you and that was great advice".
Mazibuko confirmed that the group will continue their US tour but will also be making provisions to return home. "Right now we are in a lot of shock so I think everyone just needs time to process everything and then tomorrow we will discuss the next steps. Of course his son will be flying home as soon as possible", he said.
He also thanked South Africa for the support and asked that fans keep them in their prayers.