Ladysmith Black Mambazo Joseph Shabalala has passed away at the age of 78! He has been battling with his health ever since his retirement from Ladysmith Black Mambazo five years ago.he legendary founder of
The South African Government on Tuesday issued a brief statement on their Twitter page.
“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 (Rest in Peace – you’ve run your race),” reads the statement.
Joseph Shabalala founded Ladysmith Black Mambazo in 1960 and the band won numerous international awards, including a couple of Grammy’s.
According to reports, Joseph Shabalala died on Tuesday morning at Life Eugene Marais in Pretoria.
The band’s manager Xolani Majozi confirmed to various publications that Shabalala was with his wife, Thokozile during his last moments.
“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,” as quoted by Times Live.
The publication also reports that earlier this year, Joseph Shabalala was admitted to hospital due to ill health, and those close to him asked fans to keep him in their prayers.
According to Times Live, in 2017 Shabalala was admitted to hospital after his health took a nosedive after he underwent spine surgery and “struggled” to get back on his feet.
It is also reported that Xolani Majozi said that Joseph Shabalala was suffering from complications from a back surgery in 2012 that left him wheelchair-bound.
Joseph Shabalala was born on 28 August in 1941 and was well known for his unique and stirring vocals. The group has won five Grammy awards and traveled the world, putting South Africa’s music scene on the map in an innovative way.
In 2016 former President Jacob Zuma also paid Prof. Joseph Shabalala – an old friend a visit.
Around April last year, President Ramaphosa paid a visit to Joseph Shabalala at his home in Ladysmith.