Joseph Shabalala, the founder of the successful isicathamiya group Black Mambazo is confirmed dead on Tuesday morning at Life Eugene Marais in Pretoria.
The musician was best known as the founder and director of choral group Ladysmith Black Mambazo, which won five Grammy awards and featured heavily on Paul Simon’s Gracelands album.
The South African Government tweeted his death news: “We would like to extend our condolences on the passing of Joseph Shabalala who was the founder of the group Ladysmith Black Mambazo.
It added in Xhosa, “Ulale ngoxolo Tata ugqatso lwakho ulufezile.” (Rest in peace, father, your race is complete.)
The group’s manager Xolani Majozi confirmed to TshisaLIVE; “Yes it’s true. Mr Shabalala passed on this morning. The group (Ladysmith Black Mambazo) is on tour in the US, but they have been informed and are devastated because the group is family.”
The singer retired from active performance in 2014, but his sons continue his legacy as performers with Ladysmith Black Mambazo.