They rose to worldwide prominence as a result of singing with Paul Simon on his 1986 album Graceland, and have won multiple awards, including four Grammy Awards. They were formed by Joseph Shabalala in 1960 and later became one of South Africa’s most proli c recording artists, with their releases receiving gold and platinum disc honors. The group has now become a mobile academy, teaching people about South Africa and its culture.
In January 1999, Joseph Shabalala founded “The Ladysmith Black Mambazo Foundation”. The aim of the organization is to teach young Zulu South African children about their traditional culture and music, isicathamiya. Today, the Mambazo Academy is currently being built, with plans for a rehearsal hall, teaching areas and a professional recording studio. The main aim is to promote and teach the history of isicathamiya music to young people.