From South Africa to Columbus!

On February 4th, Grammy Award winning group, Ladysmith Black Mambazo will make the journey to the Southern Theatre. And quite a journey it has been! Winner of numerous awards—including the 2013 Grammy for Best World Music CD—Ladysmith has been making friends such as Nelson Mandela, Dolly Parton, and Paul Simon during their 50-year long career.

Who are they? Formed by Joseph Shabalala in 1964, Ladysmith is an all-male choral group from South Africa that performs traditional Zulu music. Once reserved for only South African celebrations, such as weddings or holidays, Zulu music is now shared with the world through Ladysmith performances.

What are they about? The group is made up of family—brothers, cousins, fathers, sons, uncles—that range in age from 25 to 70. “Ladysmith” is the name of the small farming village in South Africa where Shabalala and his family are from. “Black” is representative of the black oxen, the strongest creature on the farm. And “mambazo” is the Zulu word for “axe,” representing their strength to cut through barriers.

Who are their fans? Ladysmith has dedicated and adoring fans around the world, winning them multiple gold and platinum honors. Singer/songwriter Paul Simon used the group on his Grammy Award-winning album, Graceland. Dolly Parton also used the group on her album Treasures (1996).

The great Nelson Mandela, who said that their music was an inspiration for him while he was imprisoned for 27 years, called them “South Africa’s cultural ambassadors.” Ladysmith considered Mandela a dear friend, and even accompanied him to accept his Nobel Peace Prize. They also sang at his Presidential inauguration in 1993, and again for his birthday in 1994.


by Anna Schaeffer

Ladysmith Black Mambazo will be at the Southern Theatre for one night only on February 4, 2014.

To purchase tickets, visit CAPA’s website, or call the CAPA Ticket Center at (614)469-0939.

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