Trevor Reekie speaks with Albert Mazibuko: choir leader for Ladysmith Black Mambazo at WOMAD 2016.
Before Ladysmith Black Mambazo’s WOMAD 2016 performance Trevor Reekie spoke with the choir leader Albert Mazibuko, a dignified gentleman who has been a member of Ladysmith Black Mambazo since 1969.
In fact, the choir was founded by Albert’s cousin Joseph Shabalala in 1960, after a recurring dream featuring a choir singing in perfect harmony. His new ideas were initially rejected by his former choir, so he approached Albert to help him put a new choir together and an early incarnation of Ladysmith Black Mambazo was born. The long road to success has taken many stops including international acclaim and Grammy awards, culminating in Nelson Mandela proclaiming them "South Africa's cultural ambassadors".
As choir founder, Joseph Shabella said: “The journey that Ladysmith Black Mambazo has been on, was never a dream, a black South African could ever imagine”.