They land in Harare at 2120hrs tonight, September 13.
The famous South Afrian choral group, started by Joseph Shabalala in 1960, was last in Zimbabwe in 2010 for the Sam Mataure-led Harare Jazz Festival. Shabalala still leads the group today, fifty-two years after it was started and has named his son, Thamsanqa (Tommy), who has been a member of the world-famous acapella ensemble for a number of years now, as the heir to the throne of the Ladysmith Black Mambazo movement (Shabalala's other sons; Msizi, Thulani, and Sibongiseni are also members of the group).
The Ladysmith Black Mambazo performance in Harare then was magical and received by rapturous applause. Fans are expecting no less from them this time around when they holler out from the Spring Strings stage on Saturday afternoon at Arundel School in Mount Pleasant.
Ladysmith has been nominatated for at least fifteen Grammy awards in their history and have won three of these. They have also won numerous other awards, including three South African Music Awards (SAMAs), two Drama Desk Awards and a SARIE Award. The group spends at least eight months of the year touring the world and have performed in more places and countries than we can name in this article.
They have collaborated with numerous artists from around the world, including Paul Simon, Dolly Parton, Hugh Masekela, Melissa Etheridge, Joe McBride, Natalie Merchant, Emmylou Harris and Kristin Asbjørnsen.
Soweto String Quartet on stage at the 2011 Spring Strings. SPRING STRINGS
In 1999 Joseph Shabalala founded The Ladysmith Black Mambazo Foundation whose aim is to give back to the community by teaching young Zulu children about their traditional culture and music; isicathamiya. Today the Mambazo Academy, much like Oliver Mtukudzi's Pakare Paye Centre in Norton, is under construction, with plans for a performance auditoruim, rehearsal space, teaching areas and a professional recording studio.
This is the second year of the Spring Strings Festival, run by Lucky Bean Productions, an innovative team of young women all under the age of thirty years, whose aim is to bring quality family entertainment to Harare, the sunshine city, while promoting local artists and providing school children with access to professional artists.
Last year, the festival featured Soweto String Quartet and was held at Raintree Lodge in Umwinsidale and saw a least one thousand people in attendance. The switch in venue this year is due to a new partnership with Arundel School who are not only participating, but partnering the initiative by mentoring children at Emerald Hill Children’s home in the musical arts.
Also featuring at the festival will be Dudu Manhenga, uZa, Mayek Dance Ensemble, Arundel Electric Orchestra, Prayersoul and Tari negitare with a guest performance by Celebrate Children’s Orchestra of Zimbabwe and Emerald Hill Children’s Ensemble – something for everyone.
The programme runs from 12-6 pm and tickets are available at Reps, Hello Harare, Arundel School and iClick at Sam Levy’s Village.