Joseph Shabalala Picture: ING, DUDU ZITHA
Joseph Shabalala Picture: ING, DUDU ZITHA

Tributes pour in for iconic SA musician, Joseph Shabalala

By Mercury Reporter Time of article published Feb 11, 2020

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Durban - Tributes have been pouring in on social media following the death of South African music icon, Dr Joseph Shabalala. 

Shabalala, founder of international award winning group, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, passed away in Pretoria on Tuesday after a long illness. 

President Cyril Ramaphosa has offered his deep condolences to the family and friends of the veteran choral maestro as well as the members of Ladysmith Black Mambazo which has, as a group, been in existence for six decades.

He said the passing of Joseph Shabalala is a terribly sad moment for a nation and a world in whose ears the isicathamiya and mbube crafted by Ladysmith Black Mambazo will ring for generations to come.

“Today the spirit of Joseph Shabalala is united with that of our great leader, Nelson Mandela, whose release from prison we are commemorating. Madiba was a loyal follower of Ladysmith Black Mambazo who had the distinction of being part of the cultural programme at the Nobel ceremony where our founding president was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The inspirational leadership and passion of Joseph Shabalala ensured that Ladysmith Black Mambazo filled the hearts of humanity with their joyfulness, sadness and poignancy – from the villages and towns of their origins in KwaZulu-Natal, to the far corners of the earth," he said. 

Ramaphosa said the acclaim which has earned the group recognition and countless awards at home and abroad was evidence of the ability of Shabalala and his group were able to touch and unite people around the country and globally.

In conveying her condolences to the Shabalala family, KZN Legislature Speaker Nontembeko Boyce described Shabalala, 78,  as one the country’s greatest musical exports whose musical contributions had drawn the attention of the world to SA for close to six decades.

“As a province and the country we have lost a doyen of immense musical talent, we are deeply saddened by the passing of uBaba uJoseph Shabalala. While he had been sick for some time, we kept hoping that he would eventually recuperate however it was not to be. On behalf of the entire KZN legislature, we wish his family strength during this time,” she said. 

African National Congress spokesperson in KZN, Ricardo Mthembu, said the people of KZN, SA, the continent and the world will remain indebted to Mshengu’s music prowess and the ambassadorial role he played in all his years from the 50s till his demise as he held aloft the flag of the Republic of South Africa.

Inkatha Freedom Party national spokesperson, Mkhuleko Hlengwa, said the news of the passing on of a formidable giant in the music industry and the incredible role Joseph Shabalala played in taking South African music abroad during some of the country's toughest moments in history as a country, will always be remembered as one of his valuable contributions to SA. 

"The IFP extends condolences during this time of bereavement to the Shabalala family, to his friends, to all in the music industry locally and abroad, and to each and every person he revered, at this time of deep grief and sadness," he said. 

"The DA pays tribute to this legend who brought the world's attention to South Africa through his authentic music, that led to the group being honoured five times with the prestigious Grammy awards. We extend our sincere sympathies to the wife, Thokozile Shabalala, family and the whole music fraternity. We hope the group will continue his legacy," said Democratic Alliance leader in KZN, Zwakele Mncwango.


— Economic Freedom Fighters (@EFFSouthAfrica)

%%%twitter">#RIPJosephShabalalaRest In Peace Joseph 😰

— Hotstix (@siphohotstix)


— Sabelo Mkhize (@msheziwam)


— Terry Pheto (@TerryPheto)

%%%twitter">@therealmambazouBaba uShabalala created music that transcended both racial & cultural barriers & firmly put South African music on the map. Lala Ngokuthula Mshengu 🙏🏾 #RIPJosephShabalala

— Min. Nathi Mthethwa (@NathiMthethwaSA)

The Mercury  

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