Statement of the Thabo Mbeki Foundation on the passing of Mr Joseph Shabalala.

The Thabo Mbeki Foundation (TMF) joins millions of South Africans and other citizens of the world in mourning the passing of the Esteemed Member of the Order of IKamanga, cultural worker and activist, Joseph Shabalala.

He and his colleagues in Ladysmith Black Mambazo brought our local Isicathamiya into world prominence and acclaim. In doing so, they added a uniquely South African and African flavour to the global musical and cultural cuisine. Their output confirms the cultural heterogeneity of the world, promotes greater understanding among the peoples of the world and affirms the possibility and desirability of peaceful mutual co-existence and a just world.

Ladysmith Black Mambazo long understood that the cultural front is as important a terrain as the broader struggle for emancipation.

As a fitting tribute to uMshengu, all of us should draw the necessary lessons from his life and work to inspire us to make the contribution we must to the reconstruction of our cultural outlook and its place in human civilisation.

The Patron of the TMF, President Thabo Mbeki, the Board and staff wish to convey their deepest condolences to the Shabalala family, members of Ladysmith Black Mambazo and their fans throughout our country and the world.

May his soul rest in peace!

Issued by the Thabo Mbeki Foundation
February 11, 2020

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