Ladysmith Black Mambazo doccie in the works

Story of group to be immortalised

Grammy award-winning acapella group Ladysmith Black Mambazo will officially be immortalised through a documentary.

Sunday World has learnt that the documentary, The Untold story of Joseph Shabalala and Ladysmith Black Mambazo, will narrate the life and journey of the internationally recognised group and its founder, Shabalala, and the success of the group.

The production coincides with the 60th anniversary of Ladysmith Black Mambazo. The  film will be directed by Phumelelo Mbele from Nine to Five Creative Agency and has a R350 000  financial injection from the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF).

NFVF CEO Makhosazana Khanyile confirmed the R350 000 cash given to Nine to Five Creative Agency.

“It is important to allow filmmakers to tell their stories their own way and each funded production company needs to have the approval and buy-in of the family to tell the story. The NFVF neither requests nor maintains editorial control on any of its funded projects, however, we offer story support in development with regard to all funded projects,” Khanyile said.

Well-known for his soulful vocals, Shabalala, who died earlier this year, started the group in 1960 with his brother, Headman and his cousins, Albert and Abednego Mazibuko.

Ladysmith Black Mambazo’s group manager, Xolani Majozi, confirmed the production of the  film but declined to comment on the  financial assistance offered by the NFVF. It is not clear when the documentary is scheduled to be released.

“We believe Mambazo fans will be taken on a musical journey of these world music icons through this documentary. The documentary will celebrate the life and times of the late founder Dr BJ Shabalala, also how Ladysmith Black Mambazo became international icons through isicathamiya music,” Majozi said.

“The group is also working on a number of projects aimed at preserving the legacy of the group and celebrating a life well-lived and a journey well-travelled. “This will be celebrated through live events and other various arts forms,” said Majozi.

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