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August 23, 2013

Ladysmith Black Mambazo refutes Mugabe invitation claims

SW Radio Africa:

It turns out globally respected South African group Ladysmith Black Mambazo, did not want any diamonds on the soles of their feet after all. State media reports on Thursday indicated that Ladysmith Black Mambazo had agreed to perform at President Robert Mugabe’s inauguration, but these reports turned out to be false.

A government website and various media outlets claimed that the all-male a capella ensemble would join other popular international artistes such Congolese rhumba musician Koffie Olomide, Jamaican reggae outfit Black Uhuru, and Ndilimani Cultural Troupe from Namibia, and local musicians at the event.

The report said: “Award winning South African group Ladysmith Black Mambazo is expected in Zimbabwe today to join a galaxy of local and regional artistes who will entertain guests at President Mugabe’s inauguration at the National Sports Stadium in Harare.”

The report further quoted the director of urban communications in the Media, Information and Publicity Ministry, Major Anywhere Mutambudzi, who confirmed that the named groups would be entertaining Mugabe’s guests at the grand affair.

But in an emailed response to SW Radio Africa’s enquiry regarding the group’s participation at Mugabe’s ceremony, Ladysmith Black Mambazo expressed ignorance about the event.

“We are not participating in the event. We really don’t know why it was reported that we would. We were never contacted nor did we ever accept any invitation,” the group said.

Jethro Mpofu, a social and political commentator, said Ladysmith are not just known for their entertainment but also for their campaigns against injustice and it would have been shocking for them to endorse ZANU PF’s plea for legitimacy. Read more.

I heard from LBM to tell me that the Jimmy Fallon "Ladysmith Snack Mambazo" video I posted earlier did not in fact feature any real members of the ensemble. They appreciated the joke but felt peeved that nobody from the TV show contacted them in advance about the skit let alone offer them any compensation for imitating them in what was basically an ad for a junk food product. It was a funny bit but it seems a little tacky to me to not at least inform the ensemble as I'm sure most people thought is was the actual group singing the song.

Posted by acapnews at August 23, 2013 12:00 AM