Proudly South African!

Every country has things that it is proud of, things that make their citizens beam with pride, and the a cappella group, Ladysmith Black Mambazo (LBM), are definitely on the list of things that South Africans can celebrate! At the 60th Grammy Awards held last Sunday, Ladysmith Black Mambazo walked away with the Best World Music Grammy … Read more

Gentle Steps to Freedom

We’re all about the music this week! On Tuesday we wrote a brief introduction to the history of isicathimiya, but if you really want to learn more about this wonderful art form then you should do yourself a favour and watch the Oscar nominated documentary, On Tiptoe: Gentle Steps to Freedom. Predominantly a profile on Ladysmith Black Mambazo, the films … Read more

Isicathamiya: A Brief History

There’s some debate about the origins of isicathamiya, although the general consensus seems to be that this Zulu style of performance was heavily influenced by the American ragtime troupes that toured South Africa in the mid-to-late 1800s. However isicathamiya, characterised by a cappella singing and tightly-choreographed dance moves, only really gained momentum in South Africa in the … Read more

Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Chopping Down the Competition!

Earlier this week we wrote about isicathamiya, and how the style of music has evolved over the past century, but we were remiss in not mentioning Joseph Shabalala and the now famous Ladysmith Black Mambazo! Shabalala was instrumental in the resurgence in popularity of isicathamiya, after his band achieved worldwide success through their collaboration with Paul Simon on his Graceland … Read more

Hats Off!

Ulwazi receives countless emails every month from people wanting to know the meaning of their dreams, but when Joseph Shabalala started having dreams about music, he knew exactly what the dreams meant and what he was supposed to do! Joseph formed the now famous Ladysmith Black Mambazo in the early 1950s, and by the mid … Read more