Raise Your Spirit Higher

Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Heads Up.

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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.

 

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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