South African President Cyril Ramaphosa paid a courtesy visit to the home of the founder of the multi-Grammy Award-winning acapella music group Ladysmith Black Mambazo on Saturday.Speaking after the visit, Ramaphosa said he was honoured and privileged to be at Joseph Shabalala’s home.
Shabalala, aged 77, retired from the group four years ago.
The singers are still performing without their former leader and on Saturday flew off to Europe on tour.
“To be at the feet of a giant like Baba Shabalala, we feel privileged to be able to come and pay our respects to him as he is now retired,” Ramaphosa said.
Family spokesperson Sibongiseni Shabalala said the family was humbled by Ramaphosa’s visit.
“The president today fulfilled his promise that he will visit my father. Despite my father still recovering following a back operation, he was upbeat and in high spirits at the president’s visit,” Sibongiseni said.
During the visit, Ramaphosa said he congratulated Ladysmith Black Mambazo on the group’s longevity as the country’s cultural ambassadors.
“They have been in existence for 59 years, this is the longest performing group in the world. That, as South Africans, should give us pride,” Ramaphosa added.