Dignitaries gather to bid farewell to 'humble crusader of peace' Joseph Shabalala

The founder of Grammy award-winning Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Joseph Shabalala, will be laid to rest on Saturday
The founder of Grammy award-winning Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Joseph Shabalala, will be laid to rest on Saturday
Image: Gallo Images

President Cyril Ramaphosa and other SA political and musical heavyweights have gathered in Ladysmith, KwaZulu-Natal, to bid farewell to music icon Joseph Shabalala.

Shabalala, founder of the Grammy Award-winning Ladysmith Black Mambazo, died last week at the age of 78. He will be laid to rest in his hometown on Saturday.

Dignitaries including deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo, union leader Zwelinzima Vavi, police minister Bheki Cele, music icon Lebo M and Ramaphosa gathered at the Ladysmith Indoor Sports Centre to bid farewell to Shabalala.

KwaZulu-Natal premier Sihle Zikalala hailed Shabalala as a great cultural ambassador of peace when he delivered the opening remarks at the well-attended state funeral for the music legend.

“As a committed patriot, his music was conscientising and educating people about prevailing conditions in our country and the world.

“When Mambazo sang the song Homeless, their message resonated with the plight of those who were forcefully removed in areas such as District Six, Mkubane,” Zikalala said.

Zikalala also lauded Shabalala as a “humble crusader of peace who despite his superstardom continued to fly the SA flag high”.

“When leaders of our country were busy building this province which had been ravaged by violence, Mambazo complemented those efforts with song, preaching of political tolerance among different political parties.”

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