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60 Years of Ladysmith Black Mambazo

One of my career highlights was handling the PR for Ladysmith Black Mambazo’s 55th Anniversary Concert at The Lyric which was produced by the CoLab Network five years ago. By far the most humble artists I have ever worked with. I can hardly believe it has been that long. It feels like just yesterday. They are now preparing for their 60th anniversary show which will be held on 9 December. Below is the press release.


Five-time Grammy award winners Ladysmith Black Mambazo will be staging the first annual Inanda Dam World Music Fest on 9 December 2018 at the Inanda Dam Resort in KwaZulu-Natal. “Ladysmith Black Mambazo will be celebrating its success and well-travelled journey in the entertainment industry through this great music affair,” says member of the legendary group Sibongiseni Shabalala.  For nearly 60 years, this world-renowned isicathamiya group have made a mark on global stages, now they want to showcase their great and moving musical performance in their province annually with the Inanda Dam World Music Festival.

The headliners of the festival are Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Lira and Oliver Mtukudzi. Also on the lineup are Joe Nina, Steve Kekana, The Muffinz, Thee Legacy, Mbuso Khoza and Shabalala Rhythm. The annual event aims to feature Africa’s greatest icons every year. This event was inspired at a time where Ladysmith Black Mambazo will be celebrating its 60th anniversary in the music industry in 2020. The years 2018 and 2019 will be a build up to a much bigger celebration of the 60thanniversary of Ladysmith Black Mambazo.

“This event will also be a platform to showcase indigenous music talent discovered through its music development and talent search called The Ladysmith Black Mambazo mobile academy,” explains the group’s longest-standing member Albert Mazibuko. “This programme started this year, and Ladysmith Black Mambazo is moving around the country discovering and developing the talent of aspiring artists. Those who are discovered through this process receive mentorship and music skills development in different aspects of the music business.  Some of the discovered talent will be sharing a stage with 5 time Grammy winners Ladysmith Black Mambazo at The Inanda Dam World Music Fest.

This family-friendly festival will kick off the festive season in style and aims to attract people from all walks of life and from all over South Africa and the world. “This will also be a great music event where African culture and heritage is celebrated,” says Shabalala. The festival will be MC’d by Siphiwe Majozi of Uzalo fame and Ukhozi FM’s Selby (Selbyonce) Mkhize.  The Cothoza Hour will feature Africa Mamas, Junior Mambazo, Zulu Messengers and Mzamo Young Boys.

“President Nelson Mandela said Ladysmith Black Mambazo’s music is a mobile academy of South African music and culture,” adds Mazibuko, who says Ladysmith Black Mambazo will also use this event as a way of paying tribute to Nelson Mandela as we are celebrating his centenary this year.

There will also be mobile music stores at the festival where people will be encouraged to buy music of all the artists billed as well as other CDs. “This is done for the purpose of encouraging people to buy original, and not pirated music. The event will encourage people to support local African music and use it as a way to embrace the culture and heritage of other African countries,” concludes Shabalala. 

The Inanda Dam World Music Fest will start at 10:00am and end at 8:00pm. Tickets are R200.00 from Computicket.

Article written by:

Richmond Sajini is a musician and media entrepreneur in the public relations, television, radio and retail spaces in South Africa. He studied Public Relations and Communication at the University of Johannesburg and has worked on brands such as Coca Cola, Tsogo Sun, Heineken as well as the South African National Roads Agency. He has been told to shut up many times by people who don’t understand that he is in love with the sound of his own voice. For this reason he decided to start his own blog where he would share his thoughts and experiences without inhibition. Visit his blog, www.randomramblings.co.za and follow him on Twitter @richmondsajini.

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