Because of the large population of South Africans now living in Australia, we’re a little bit spoilt when it comes to South African entertainment that we get. In July, the world-famous Ladysmith Black Mambazo is coming to Australia and will be performing in Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart, Brisbane, and of course, Perth.
Who Are Ladysmith Black Mambazo?
South Africa’s Ladysmith Black Mambazo was founded in the early 1960s by Joseph Shabalala, then a teenage farm boy living on the lands just outside the small town of Ladysmith, in the province of kwaZulu Natal. To name his group, Joseph used his hometown to honor his family history. He added the word Black in reference to the black oxen, the strongest of all farm animals. Mambazo is the Zulu word for chopping axe, a symbol of the group’s vocal ability to clear the path to success.
A radio broadcast in 1970 opened the door to their first record contract, the beginning of an ambitious recording career that currently includes more than seventy albums, earning nineteen Grammy Award nominations and five Grammy Award wins, including this year’s prize for Best World Music Album (Shaka Zulu Revisited: 30 Year Anniversary Celebration).
The group sings from a traditional music called isicathamiya (is-cot-a-ME-Ya), which developed in the mines of South Africa. It was there that black workers were taken by rail to work far away from their homes and families. Poorly housed and paid worse, the mine workers would entertain themselves after a six-day week by singing songs into the wee hours on Sunday morning. When the miners returned to the homelands, this musical tradition returned with them.
In the mid-1980s, American singer/songwriter Paul Simon famously visited South Africa and incorporated the group’s rich harmonies into the famous Graceland album (1986) with the hit song Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes – a landmark recording considered seminal in introducing world music to mainstream audiences. In addition to their work with Simon, Ladysmith Black Mambazo has recorded with Stevie Wonder, Dolly Parton, Sarah McLachlan, Josh Groban, Melissa Etheridge, and many others.
Ladysmith Black Mambazo – Australian Tour Dates 2018
Sydney – City Recital Hall – Monday 9 July
Melbourne – Recital Centre – Tuesday 10 July
Hobart – Festival Of Voices – Thursday 12 July
Brisbane – The Tivoli – Saturday 14 July
Perth – Astor Theatre – Monday 16 July
Win Tickets To See Ladysmith Black Mambazo
Do you want to win 2 tickets to see Ladysmith Black Mambazo in Perth? Follow my Facebook page and look out for the competition post. For a bonus entry, leave a comment on this blog post below!
A big thank you to Adrian Bohm Presents for this giveaway and for bringing such an awesome South African act to our shores.
Disclaimer: I received free tickets to this event and was financially compensated for this post. All opinions are my own.