Story Corps
Live from the Freight & Salvage: Ladysmith Black Mambazo
SATURDAY, AUGUST 17 at 8:00pm on KRCB and SUNDAY, AUGUST 18 at 7:00pm on KPJK - South Africa's Ladysmith Black Mambazo was assembled in the early 1960s by Joseph Shabalala, then a young farmboy turned factory worker. Joseph took the name Ladysmith from his hometown, which lies in the province of kwaZulu Natal, halfway between the city of Durban (where members of the group live today) and Johannesburg. The word Black being a reference to the oxen, the strongest of all farm animals, Joseph's way of honoring his early life on his family's farm. Mambazo is the Zulu word for chopping axe, a symbol of the group’s vocal strength, clearing the way for their music and eventual success. Ladysmith Black Mambazo has been awarded five Grammy Awards, as well as seventeen Grammy Award nominations, more than any other World Music group in the history of the Awards. (In this episode of Live from the Freight & Salvage, the group learns mid-concert that they won their fifth Grammy: Best World Music Album of 2017.)

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