WATCH | Ndlovu Youth Choir pays tribute to Joseph Shabalala

Ladysmith Black Mambazo founder Joseph Shabalala was granted a state funeral and will be laid to rest in Ladysmith on Saturday.
Ladysmith Black Mambazo founder Joseph Shabalala was granted a state funeral and will be laid to rest in Ladysmith on Saturday.
Image: Photo by Andrew Lepley/Redferns

As fans, friends and family gather to pay their final respects to late Ladysmith Black Mambazo founder Joseph Shabalala, the world-renowned Ndlovu Youth Choir has paid tribute through song.

The choir, who attained global recognition when they reached the final of 2018's America's Got Talent, posted a moving video of them singing Ladysmith Black Mambazo's Homeless.

The choir thanked the musician for his music and said they stood on his shoulders.

Speaking to SowetanLIVE's sister publication TshisaLIVE, choir conductor Ralf Schmitt hailed Joseph as an icon in the music industry.

He added that young people should understand the impact he had on the industry and the groundbreaking moves he made.

“He was the first guy to take traditional South African music and incorporate it, package it in a way that the rest of the world can understand it.

“Group musicians like us have benefited massively and directly from that, so we feel it's imperative to pray tribute to him”, he said.

Joseph will be laid to rest on Saturday in an official state funeral service at AG Magubane stadium in his hometown, Ladysmith.

“The Special Official Funeral Category 2 entails ceremonial elements provided by the SA Police Service. The funeral will take place on February 22 2020,” President Cyril Ramaphosa's spokesperson, Khusela Diko, told TshisaLIVE in a statement.

Ramaphosa has ordered that the national flag be flown at half-mast at every flag station in the country until the evening of February 22 2020 (Saturday) in Joseph's honour.

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