Ladysmith Black Mambazo
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South Africa’s Ladysmith Black Mambazo was founded in the early 1960s by Joseph Shabalala, then a teenage farmer living on the lands just outside the small town of Ladysmith. Shabalala used his hometown’s name to honor his family’s history and also added to his group’s name 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. The group sings from a traditional music called isicathamiya (is-cot-a-ME-Ya), which developed in the mines of South Africa.