Halala! The musical legacy of the late Joseph Shabalala and Ladysmith Black Mambazo, lives on.
The National Film and Video Foundtation (NFVF) recently announce the selection of the “Music is My Life: The Story of Joseph Shabalala” documentary as Mzansi’s official entry in the International Feature Film category for the 96th Annual Academy Awards (Oscars).
It celebrates the life and legacy of the king of isicathamiya, whose influence on the music landscape, not only in South Africa but across the world, is immeasurable.
The internationally recognised film was rigorously judged by the South African Academy Awards Selection Committee, which is made up of a diverse group of industry professionals.
Among the four film submissions submitted and approved over September 18-22, the submissions were evaluated based on the Academy Awards’ Best International Feature Film eligibility criteria.
The submission “Music is My Life - Joseph Shabalala” and “Ladysmith Black Mambazo” received the highest votes as the official selection once the scores were tallied and vetted by the auditors.
Currently on the Legacy Tour, the group is set to visit the Artscape in Cape Town on November 17 and 18.
Produced by Carolyn Carew, the feature documentary film was shot over a period of five years and portrays Dr Shabalala’s creative process through the inspiring lens of his life.
It is an engaging tribute to South Africa’s diverse culture, one of South Africa’s most distinct traditional musical forms, isicathamiya, and the man with a remarkable voice who made it globally relevant.
NFVF Acting CEO Thobela Mayinje, said: “It is always a great privileged and opportunity to have a South African film represent the country at the global industry’s foremost awards .
“The fact that this particular film tells the authentic South African story of the iconic Dr Shabalala, is even more special.”
The official nominations for the 96th Annual Academy Awards will be announced on January 23, 2024.