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Music academy is a fitting tribute to Joseph Shabalala, says KZN premier

KwaZulu-Natal premier Sihle Zikalala sings the condolence book at Joseph Shabalala's home.
KwaZulu-Natal premier Sihle Zikalala sings the condolence book at Joseph Shabalala's home.
Image: Supplied

KwaZulu-Natal premier Sihle Zikalala says he is committed to preserving the legacy of the late Joseph Shabalala with the continuation of a music academy.

Zikalala spoke to the media after visiting the home of the leader of the critically acclaimed isicathamiya group, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, on Tuesday. Shabalala died last Tuesday morning at Life Eugene Marais Hospital in Tshwane, at the age of 78, after a long illness.

“The issue of the academy is in our plan. We have started it in terms of planning and we are committed to ensuring we will have an academy that will preserve this genre, but also all African music. The issue of the academy is not shelved. It is a plan and it is necessary to ensure we preserve the legacy of Mr Shabalala,” said Zikalala.

Before his death, Shabalala and his multiple Grammy award-winning group had launched a mobile music academy with aims to educate people on the history of isicathamiya.

Zikalala praised Shabalala for flying the South African flag high.

“We have lost a true ambassador of KwaZulu-Natal. Joseph Shabalala rose from humble beginnings and identified himself with the people of the province and the people of his area. He led in the art identity, especially through isicathamiya and building Ladysmith Black Mambazo, sending a message of hope through his voice and sending inspiration to people to not lose hope at any time or under any difficulty,” he said.

Shabalala will be laid to rest on Saturday in his home town in a state funeral.

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