News of Ladysmith Black Mambazo founder Joseph Shabalala’s death has sent a wave of sadness across the region where he was popular in various countries.
Group manager Xolani Majozi confirmed to SowetanLIVE’s sister publication TshisaLIVE that the Grammy Award-winning group’s founder was with his wife, Thokozile Shabalala, during his last moments.
Shabalala died on Tuesday morning at Life Eugene Marais Hospital in Tshwane at the age of 78, while Ladysmith Black Mambazo was on tour in the US. Saddened by the news of Joseph’s death, fans and friends took to social media to express their sorrow.
- 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. #RIPJosephShabalala. — South African Government.
- It’s with great sadness that we received news of the passing of Mr Joseph Shabalala who was a close friend of Dr Oliver Mtukudzi. We are deeply pained and words are of no help in expressing the sorrow we feel at this moment. No one can prepare you for the kind of pain we all feel when you have lost a loved one. To us he was a father, a brother and a dedicated fellow artist who gave his all in his work and embraced everyone he came into contact with him on and off the stage. He will forever be in our hearts and we will hold dear the fond memories we shared with Mr Joseph Shabalala. We take comfort in knowing that he is now resting in the arms of God. Sincere condolences to the Shabalala Family ,Ladysmith Black Mambazo and the people of South Africa from all of us at Tuku Music, The Black Spirits and The Mtukudzi Family. #tukumusic — walter wanyanya.
- Baba Joseph Shabalala we stand on your shoulders and your music will live forever. Lala ngoxolo Baba. — Ndlovu Youth Choir.
- “An enormous cultural treasure. A cultural gold mine.” In 1987, Paul Simon spoke to us about “Graceland” and the enormous influence and talent of Ladysmith Black Mambazo founder Joseph Shabalala. — Rolling Stone.
- One of the memorable moments spent with Baba Joseph Shabalala in Munich, Germany in 2008. A true inspiration, full of humility and kindness. There is so much that we can learn from the life of this legend. Hambakahle Mshengu. #RIP Joseph Shabalala. — Loyiso Bala. — sowetan/The Herald