Ladismith Blake Mambazo, founder of South Africa’s multi-Grammy-award-winning music group, told state broadcaster Joseph Shabala on Tuesday. He was 78.
Shabala died at a Pretoria hospital in the capital on Tuesday morning, his family confirmed to local media. The group confirmed the news on social media: “You will live forever through your music and the millions of people you interact with.”
He is best known for leading the Choral Group, founded in 1964, which is acclaimed worldwide,On the “Graceland” album and others. Hunting, a capella singing group often called Ipathamia, helped make South Africa one of the most recognized performers on the world stage.
The South African government paid tribute to the musician and tweeted: “We would like to congratulate Joseph Shabalala, who was the founder of the group on the death of Ladysmith Black Mambazo.” BBC News Johasa said it was linked to “Ulale Ngoxolo Tata Ugkatso Lovkho Woolfizil.” (Rest in peace Father, your race is over.)
The death was announced as Nelson Mandela was released three years before his release from prison, ending the country’s brutal system of racial persecution known as racism.
The South African President said, “(Mandela) was a loyal follower of Ladysmith Black Mambazo at a Nobel event where our founding President received the Nobel Prize.”
Shabalala retired from the Ladysmith Black Mambazo on 29 but occasionally attended events. He has been hospitalized several times for 24 years.
“The group (Ladysmith Black Mambazo) is touring the US, but they have been informed and the family is devastated,” manager Jolani Mazzoi told local media TimesLive.
Mazzoi says the team will return to South Africa to shorten their journey.