Award Winning South African director and storyteller, Phumelelo Mbele aka “SUPA”, and award winning production company Free Women Films, are set to direct a documentary honouring the Life of Dr Joseph Shabalala, multiple Grammy award winning musician and founding member of the Zulu male choral group, Ladysmith Black Mambazo.
The documentary seeks to tell the story of the musical journey and lives of the iconic South African musical hero’s – Joseph Shabalala and Ladysmith Black Mambazo, showcasing the traditional Zulu music and vocal styles of isicathamiya and mbube, from humble beginnings to their acclaimed International success, while focusing on the profound influence that their unique musical style has had on South Africa and generations to come.
“As a director, it is an honour to be given the opportunity to tell the story of this amazing legend Joseph Shabalala, Mshengu” said Phumelelo Mbele who directed E-Jackpot, a 45min film for MNET. “What he and the band Ladysmith Black Mambaso have done, is something that we, as a country still do not comprehend. It is my hope that this film will inform and educate the viewers about the contribution they have played, musically, politically and spiritually in our lives” adds Mbele
The filmmakers will work closely with the Dr Joseph Shabalala Foundation and Thoko Shabalala, wife of Dr Joseph Shabalala. “I am so excited that finally the dream and legacy of Dr Joseph Shabalala will be realised. This project has my blessing and I am looking forward to working with the director, Phumelelo Supa Mbele and Free Women Films” said Thoko Shabalala.
Filming will take place in the world heritage site of the uKhahlamba region of Kwazulu Natal, where Dr Shabalala was born and lived his whole life. The documentary and series will made with the support of the Kwazulu Natal Film Commission.
“As one of the producers, it is a privilege to be associated with this iconic South African musician” said Judy Nwokedi, Secretary General of the Black Business Council and Executive Producer for Free Women Films “Dr Shabalala’s music is from a genre that displays the profound spirit and gentleness of a musical genius”.