RIP Joseph Shabalala, frontman of Ladysmith Black Mambazo

The musician passed Tuesday morning

By  | Feb 11, 2020, 12:59 PM

It's a dark day in South Africa after learning of the death of Joseph Shabalala, the legendary musician who is credited with founding Ladysmith Black Mambazo.

It hasn't been an easy year for South Africa. They've already lost Richard Maponya and Chilli M: now we've just learned that Joseph Shabalala, founder and frontman of Ladysmith Black Mambazo has passed on. The news has rocked South Africa and Africa as whole, as the group was internationally recognized. The group won 9 Grammy Awards within their career and performed all over the world, becoming so well known that they have become synonymous with Africa.

The group's manager confirmed the news when he said, "We have lost a leader of the family and of the group. As the family we are shocked and saddened".

The tributes have already begun pouring in from every corner of the country and it's extremely sad to see the pain that many of the nation's biggest artists are in. Sipho Hotsix Mabuza couldn't help but bemoan his good friend's death as he said, "My friend... a giant humble man , Joseph Shabalala, passed away this morning. My sincere condolences to his family and friends #RIPJosephShabalala  Rest In Peace Joseph"

Regarding the cause of death, the group's spokesperson Xolani Majoza said, ""He was admitted in hospital in December in Durban. He was then transferred to another hospital in Gauteng.

"He’s not been feeling well and we plead with the community and all the South Africans to pray for the family of Ladysmith Black Mambazo and the Shabalala family as they are facing this situation. He was referred early in the month around the 3rd of January."

Although the family and friends of the late musician are still in shock, we are informed that early plans for a funeral service are under way. The South African government has not confirmed if Joseph will be given a state funeral. They have, however, sent him off with the highest praise by saying, "We would like to extend our condolences on the passing of Joseph Shabalala who was the founder of the group Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Ulale ngoxolo Tata ugqatso lwakho ulufezile."

Image Credit: twitter.com/go2uj