Raise Your Spirit Higher

Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Heads Up.

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.


They’ve been heard on everything from Paul Simon’s Graceland to TV candy commercials,
but Ladysmith Black Mambazo fare best singing for themselves. Led by Joseph Shabalala,
this 10-man South African ensemble specializes in radiant and soothing a cappella harmonies.
Though they sing mostly in Zulu, with English interludes, there’s no mistaking Ladysmith’s upbeat
mission, whether celebrating racial harmony in “Black Is Beautiful” or promoting seatbelt usage
in “Fak’ Ibhande.” While the exuberant call-and-response dynamics recall American gospel, Shabalala’s
tunes never lose their local flavor, down to a jovial invitation to invest in Africa (“Selingelethu
Sonke”). During apartheid, Ladysmith embodied patient, unbending resistance; today,
they’re the sound of pure joy.

 

THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

payment methods

THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate