The President of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa has honored the late Ladysmith Black Mambazo founder and leader Dr. Joseph Shabala with a Special Official Funeral, Category Two.
This honor is provided for distinguished persons specifically designated by the president of the Republic of South Africa.
“President Ramaphosa has honored the isicathamiya legend with a Special Official Funeral, Category Two, provided for distinguished persons specifically designated by the president of the Republic of South Africa” announced the President’s office.
President Ramaphosa described Dr. Shabalala as one of the most decorated artists.
“We are here to bid a sad farewell to Dr Joseph Shabalala who was one of the most decorated artists, a prolific composer, a multi-talented singer, rifty dancer and an accomplished choreographer” he said.
Dr. Joseph Shabalala was the son of farmworkers and the eldest of eight children. He was forced to leave school at the age of 12 when his father died to care for his siblings. He moved to Durban while still a teenager to work in a factory.
The Ladysmith Black Mambazo music group was awarded the National Order of Ikhamanga in October 2008 for putting South African cultural life on the world map through contributing to the field of South African Indigenous Music.
The music group has also been the soundtrack to the national life. Their music has carried to the world the South African people’s story of pain, dipossession, loss, tale of camaraderie, friendship, triump and of faith.