Let's admit it, Ladies. Our hearts warm up at the sound of deep, soothing male voices singing in harmony. The gentle, uplifting a cappella singing of Ladysmith Black Mambazo (often misspelled as "Mombasa" or "Mombazo") will have exactly that effect on you:
The traditional Zulu singing of these men is called isicathamiya. This music was born in the colonial days of South Africa:
Black workers were forced to slave away in diamond mines for 6 days a week with poor housing and worse pay. On the 7th day, they rested and entertained themselves with songs and dances - in a quiet way that would not disturb the camp security guards.
It is this musical tradition that Joseph Shabala desired to keep alive in the 1960s. He had formed several groups but was never satisfied with their singing. One night, he had a beautiful dream of a choir, singing the exact type of music he desired to create.
In the morning, Shabala gathered his brothers and cousins to form a new group and bring his dream to life. This was the birth of Ladysmith Black Mambazo.
The group recorded over 50 albums. Even the very first, “Amabutho”, won them a gold award in Africa and many more followed. But international fame did not come until Paul Simon recorded the album “Graceland” with them in 1986.
Since then, the a cappella choir won several Grammy Awards and keeps moving audiences on world tours. Even after 50 years, it is still one of South Africa's most remarkable performing groups.
Find all Ladysmith Black Mambazo albums on Amazon.com!
This choir is something the Zulu people can be proud of. It not only represents their tribe globally, but preserves their culture and music through their foundation.
It is the groups desire to spread the message of peace, love and harmony through their work. One just can't get enough of these African sounds and entertaining dances. But don't worry:
This music plays on in your heart and these voices keep you warm even when the show is over.
What do you think about the group?