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Joseph Shabalala to be remembered at Joburg memorial

The Ladysmith Black Mambazo founder will be celebrated at a music-filled, third and final memorial service, ahead of his funeral in Ladysmith on Saturday.

A portrait of Ladysmith Black Mambazo founder Dr Joseph Shabalala at his memorial service in Ladysmith on 18 February 2020. Picture: Xanderleigh Dookey/EWN

DURBAN - Family, friends, and fans of the late award-winning singer Joseph Shabalala are expected to gather at the Standard Bank Arena at Ellis Park, Johannesburg on Thursday afternoon.

The Ladysmith Black Mambazo founder will be celebrated at a music-filled, third and final memorial service, ahead of his funeral in Ladysmith on Saturday where President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to deliver the eulogy.

On Wednesday, mourners gathered in Durban where Shabalala was described as a humble person despite his international recognition.

This week saw young and old musicians share details about the inspirational role Shabalala played in their careers. But his grandson Gagamela Shabalala said that to his family, he was more than an inspiration.

“He meant a lot to us and he was more than a father. It’s just so surreal that he’s gone and I’m sad, but I’m really happy for all the support and everybody that is here today,” he said.

Ladysmith Black Mambazo manager Mxolisi Majozi said the group would keep Shabalala’s legacy alive.

"Professor Joseph Shabalala said when Ladysmith Black Mambazo received their fifth Grammy: ‘Let’s create more space because there are more Grammys coming, so we want to make sure that Ladysmith Black Mambazo will give the baton to the next generation,’" Majozi said.

WATCH: 'We have lost a true ambassador of KZN’ - Sihle Zikalalala visits Joseph Shabalala's family