Llembe: Honoring Shaka Zulu

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[Entertainment: Music]

Joseph Shabalala has once again led the members of Lady Smith Black Mambazo to a critically acclaimed new CD, Llembe: Honoring Shaka Zulu.

As you can deduce from the CD title, the CD is dedicated to honor of the brave historic South African warrior, who became the first king of the Zulu nation after he united numerous regional ethnic groups and nations, often violently, in the late 1800s.

Given their historical inspiration, the songs on the album are definitely devotional and spiritual in nature, but they also deal with politics, relationships, and life in general. LSM bring their unique multihued harmonic style to the fore in this CD.

The opening track, "O Mmu Beno Mmu" ("Somebody and Somebody"), is a song that encourages unity amongst people, and the benefits of working together. "Kuyafundw’ Osizini" ("Learning from the Obstacles") brings the story of Shaka Zulu in musical form and emphasizes the virtues of over coming obstacles.

"Let’s Do It" is a song about dirty politics and tells people to rise above it. Shabala says: "There are still many people who need to be filled with the spirit of unity and hope that Shaka embodied. We are trying to remind people of the importance of what this man did. That was my purpose, to bring the people back to the roots of their culture."

LSM always manage to bring that feeling of hope with every song in every CD, and it is no exception with this latest release.

Black Star
music editor Ocen Allimadi can be reached at

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