Heads Up International reported today that Jockey Shabalala, brother of
Ladysmith Black Mambazo founder and leader Joseph Shabalala, passed away on
February 11th at his home in South Africa. His family was with him when he died.
Ladysmith Black Mambazo in the 1960s. He had been with the group through the
joyous times of
Graceland – which won the Grammy Award for album of the year in
1986 – then toured and recorded with the group until early 2005, when
Ladysmith Black Mambazo won a second Grammy for their recording
Raise Your Spirit Higher.
At that time Jockey decided to retire from international travel to spend more
time with family at home. He continued to perform in South Africa with
Ladysmith Black Mambazo.Brother, husband, father, uncle and friend to many, Jockey was a person filled
with joy. Anyone who came into contact with him left with a smile. Jockey, age
62, never took for granted the opportunities that came his way by being part of
Ladysmith Black Mambazo and took great pride in the work the group had done
over the past 40 years.
Ladysmith Black Mambazo is in the midst of a concert tour of the United
States promoting their latest release,
Long Walk to Freedom, which they will continue, as they have done
before when tragedy strikes.
“This is what we do,” says Joseph Shabalala. “We must continue to spread our
culture and our message of Peace, Love and Harmony. Jockey helped me and the
rest of the group on this mission for almost 40 years. As we were performing
tonight’s encore song, ‘Amazing Grace,’ I knew he was with us. I could hear his
voice, once again, as part of our harmony. I’ll always hear his voice, even as
he is now with God.”