Joseph Shabalala to receive state funeral
President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced that the founder of the Grammy awards winning music group Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Dr Joseph Shabalala (78) will receive an official state funeral, on Saturday the 22 of February.
The president also conveyed his deepest condolences to the Shabalala family and to the members of the arts and culture society in South Africa and across the whole world. Also adding that the National Flag fly at half-mast until the evening of the funeral.
Shabalalala died last week after a long illness which aided his retirement from the famous music group, Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Shabalala died in one of the hospitals in Pretoria, surrounded by his wife and family.
In a statement released by the KwaZulu-Natal provincial government, the decision was well welcomed. Premier Sihle Zikalalala said Shabalala deserved a fitting send-off because of his influence in ‘Isicathamiya’, a genre that speaks to many South Africans.
“As the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government, we are deeply humbled that this remarkable son of the soil will be given a fitting a send-off. Despite his international stardom, Mshengu [Shabalala] has remained humble and has inspired many ‘Isicathamiya’ groups who saw him as their role model. He has also contributed greatly to the empowerment of his community in various ways,” said Zikalala.
Memorial services to celebrate the life of this late legend are expected to take place in Ladysmith, Durban and Johannesburg on Tuesday and Thursday.