MSHENGU: A PIONEER OF ISICATHAMIYA
Written by: Menelisi Ndwandwe
Professor Joseph Shabalala, the founder of Ladysmith Black Mambazo, was described as a pioneer at the Durban Playhouse in an event that was a tribute to him on Thursday.
The isicathamiya group have huge accolades such as Grammys under the stewardship of Mshengu. Thami Shabalala, the son of the leader, paid tribute to his father by appreciating the love and lessons he learned from the veteran.
“He taught us patience, perseverance, and endurance. He always emphasised the importance of prayer and self- reliance,” said Shabalala.
He confessed that he never told his father how much he loved him.
Minister of Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa, recalled how Mambazo’s songs told the story of South Africa in the past six decades.
“The songs spread the word on how South Africans were living under difficulties during the apartheid era. But yet again the current songs preaches social cohesion and love amongst the citizen,” explained Mthethwa.
“I am also happy that the youth is dominating in this theatre, they will absorb, the story that will move South Africa forward,” he added.
Vusi Mahlasela, another legendary musician, explained how Joseph Shabalala inspired him to start his musical journey.
“Mshengu is the father to many of us, he’s is an inspiration, his bravery, and never-give-up attitude made us take note,” said Mahlesela.
The renowned, Dr John Kani said that he does not look up to anybody in the industry but Shabalala as his role model.
“It’s an honour to call Bra Joe, the icon, whilst he is still present in the house. He is an event; wherever he goes people want to hear his voice, the global stage celebrates him,” said Kani.
He added that through Mambazo’s music, people’s souls were liberated.
Amongst other artists who paid tribute to Shabalala, were Joe Mafela,Thembi Mtshali, Mbongeni Ngema and Ihhashi Elimhlophe.
*Caption: Artists and other stakeholders pay tribute to the pioneer of Isicathamiya