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Music is My Life

Music is my Life is a compelling documentary about the incomparable Joseph Shabalala, founder of the wildly popular a-cappella singing and dance troupe, Ladysmith Black Mambazo. The music, which has won multiple international awards, draws heavily on Zulu harmonies (isicathamiya and mbube) resonant of Shabalala’s traditional roots. The film charts Shabalala’s rise from humble farm origins to international stardom following his collaboration with Paul Simon on the Graceland album. Shabalala’s art was totally bound up with his life; his visions and dreams deeply influenced his work. Later on his deep spirituality found expression in religious music. This is an uplifting film about a South African icon of extraordinary talent and charisma.


Phumelelo Mbele


Carolyn Carewe

Executive Producer

Judi Nwokei, Thoko Shabalala


Dolly Parton, Paul Simon

Director Statement

“Music is my Life will reveal the pivotal milestones in Joseph Shabalala’s life, from the 1940s to the present day, with the use of interviews, archival footage and photographs. We will also film recreations that aim to illustrate some of the more moving moments in this compelling man’s story.” Mpumi Supa Mbele

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