Ladysmith Black Mambazo
South Africa’s Ladysmith Black Mambazo was founded in the early 1960s by Joseph Shabalala, then a teenage farm boy living on the lands just outside the small town of Ladysmith, in the province of kwaZulu Natal, halfway between Johannesburg and Durban. Joseph used his hometown’s name to honor his family’s history. Joseph added to his group’s name the word Black in reference to the black oxen, the strongest of all farm animals.
When my sister was in high school she was a musical filter for me, as I was her younger brother and was very impressionable. Most of the music I was listening too was coming on mix tapes that artsy-fartsy, private school boys would make for her and she would subsequently hand down to me when that boy's time passed. So, as my friends were enamored with the New Kids, Tiffany and Color Me Badd.
Ladysmith Black Mambazo, the GRAMMY® Award winning vocal group from South Africa that has conquered nations in its own way with a joyous and spiritually charged brand of vocal music and native choreography, pays tribute to this historical icon with their new Heads Up International release, Ilembe: Honoring Shaka Zulu. Ilembe celebrates not only Shaka Zulu but the sense of perseverance, creativity and pride that he has inspired in generations of descendants.