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Ladysmith Black Mambazo Founder Joseph Shabalala Has Reportedly Died

Joseph Shabalala, founder of Ladysmith Black Mambazo, has passed on.

Joseph Shabalala, the founder of the successful isicathamiya group Black Mambazo, has reportedly died at the age of 78. While there hasn't been any confirmation from his family or the group, various sources including the SA Government's Twitter account, have shared the news. It's still unknown what the cause of his death is.


Joseph Shabalala founded Ladysmith Black Mambazo in 1960, and the group gained international popularity especially after working with Paul Simon in his 1986 album Graceland. The group would go on to work with the likes of Michael Jackson and Dolly Parton among a few other global stars.

Mambazo have won five Grammy Awards. Currently, the group consists of a new generation of members, a majority of them are sons of the founding members. Shabalala and a majority of the founding members were retired from performing and recording.

South Africa and the whole continent have lost an icon and a pioneer.

Meanwhile, tributes have been pouring in for the late star from South Africans on social media.







This story will be updated with new information.

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