Ladysmith Black Mambazo
Ilembe: Honoring Shaka Zulu (Heads Up, 2008)
Renowned South African a cappella group Ladysmith Black Mambazo pays tribute to the legendary Shaka Zulu on their latest CD, Ilembe: Honoring Shaka Zulu. Without any instrumental accompaniment, the eight vocalists create a mesmerizing style which marks them as one of South Africa’s most popular and influential acts.
“He was a warrior, an athlete, a singer, a dancer, a visionary, he was so many things,” says Joseph Shabalala, lead singer and founder of Ladysmith Black Mambazo about Shaka Zulu. “He was a diplomat too. He could talk about differences in a civilized way, but he was also very proud. If you said, ‘No, I’m not going to cooperate,’ then he would say, ‘Alright, let us see who is the boss.’”
Ilembe translates to “The Greatest Warrior.” “There have been so many generations that have come and gone since Shaka was king of the Zulus, but there are still many hearts and minds to be conquered,” says Shabalala. “There are still many people who need to be filled with the spirit of unity and hope that Shaka embodied. We are trying to remind people of the importance of what this man did. That was my purpose, to bring the people back to the roots of their culture.”
Buy Ilembe: Honoring Shaka Zulu.
- In North America: Songs From a Zulu Farm, Long Walk to Freedom, Shaka Zulu, Best of, Gift Of The Tortoise: A Musical Journey Through Southern Africa, Journey of Dreams, Ilembe: Honoring Shaka Zulu, Raise Your Spirit Higher: Wenyukela
- In Europe: Rain Rain Beautiful Rain – The Very Best Of Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Songs from a Zulu Farm, Shaka Zulu, Long Walk to Freedom
Author: Angel Romero
Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.