Ramaphosa: Joseph Shabalala’s spirit is now united with Madiba's

The Ladysmith Black Mambazo founder passed away on Tuesday morning after an illness at the age of 78.

FILE: Joseph Shabalala, the legendary founder of Ladysmith Black Mambazo, at a show in Johannesburg on 1 August 2002. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa has on Tuesday paid tribute to legendary musician Joseph Shabalala, saying his spirit was now united with that of former President Nelson Mandela.

The Ladysmith Black Mambazo founder passed away on Tuesday morning after an illness at the age of 78.

Ramaphosa said Shabalala's passing was a terrible and sad moment for the nation and the world at large.

The president said Ladysmith Black Mambazo's music would live on for generations.

Friends, fans and fellow musicians have also taken to social media to pay tribute to Shabalala.

In a tweet, singer Sipho ‘Hotstix’ Mabuse described the music icon as a giant humble man.

Details of his funeral service have yet to be announced.

A VETERAN MUSIC MAESTRO

Shabala has been hailed as a veteran music maestro who helped introduced the Isicathamiya genre of music to the world.

Shabalala has been credited with leading Ladysmith Black Mambazo to international stardom.

The group has been together for almost six decades and is well known for popular hits including Nomathemba.

The acapella singing group also accompanied former President Nelson Mandela to his Nobel Prize-winning ceremony in Olso in 1993.

Ladysmith Black Mambazo has made history winning five Grammy awards.