South Africa: Black Mambazo Film Wins Second International Award

The wife of the late Joseph Shabalala, Thokozile, has expressed excitement that a film about the iconic isicathamiya group Ladysmith Black Mambazo has bagged its second international award at the Art & Tourism Film Festival in Portugal.

The film won its first award at the Durban International Film Festival in July.

The doccie, titled Music is My Life, has been doing wonders since it opened at the Encounters South African International Documentary Festival in Johannesburg in June.

Shabalala was the leader of the isicathamiya group from KZN. Thokozile, whose husband died in 2020, had long waited for the documentary.

“It’s an unbelievable feeling, because Ubaba (Shabalala) bugged me about the documentary. I know he is smiling in heaven upon receiving this news.

“He longed for isicathamiya music not to perish and be relegated to the dustbin, because it embodies ubuntu and put South Africa on the global map.”

Thokozile said she used to collect notebooks and papers on which her husband wrote information that would later be used in recounting his journey.

“I am eternally grateful that his sons have kept the fire burning. Still today Amambazo are recognised internationally because they made a mark,” she said.

She added that in preserving Shabalala’s legacy, they have set up a marathon named after the icon, set to be staged next year in Ladysmith. She said further details about logistics will be unpacked before the end of the year.

Amambazo Amnyama, as the acapella group are fondly known, have bagged five Grammy Awards.

Pictured above: Black Mambazo

Image source: @TheTownHall


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