Social – The legends get a musical

2013-10-13 14:00

It’s not every week that theatre is the biggest star of the social scene. But then again, it’s not every week that Ladysmith Black Mambazo premieres a musical. Sdu Gerasch was there.

The who’s who of the Durban cultural scene came out to play on Thursday night when Grammy Award-winning a capella group, Ladysmith Black Mambazo (LBM), premiered their debut stage play, Mambazo.

The musical was written and produced by Durban film maker Edmund Mhlongo and the lead singer and founder of LBM, Joseph Shabalala.

The production tells the story of the group’s journey as they fought for freedom in South Africa en route to international acclaim.

People from all walks of life gathered at the Playhouse Opera Theatre to be part of the event.

They included the province’s arts and culture MEC, Ntombikayise Sibhidla-Saphetha.

She looked elegant in her boldly striped floor-length dress. The MEC praised LBM for their contribution to the country’s rich history.

She said they would be celebrated by many generations to come.

TV-industry heavyweight Duma ka Ndlovu was present to show his support, as was former Ukhozi FM station manager Welcome “Bhodloza” Nzimande, stylish in his navy-blue suit.

The theatre was packed to capacity, which came as no surprise as LBM boasts an army of fans after 50 years of performing their beautiful isicathamiya tunes.

It was refreshing to see up-and-coming young actors delivering top-notch performances in their honour.

Wiseman Ngcube, who played the role of Shabalala, was especially impressive.

A surprise appearance on stage by the group had the audience on its feet and singing along to their hugely popular songs like Nomathemba, Homeless and Hello My Baby.

Even though we didn’t see Mshengu (Shabalala) on stage – he was in the audience – his youngest son, Thamsanqa, stood in for him with his sublime voice, which bore an uncanny resemblance to his father’s.

The LBM legacy continues to live on and the group says they will keep striving to put South Africa and Africa on the map.

It was an entertaining show with one major drawback – someone has to tell the producers that three hours is way too long for a musical.

[gallery ids="78658,78655,78656,78657"]

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.