Based: Cape Town
Khayelitsha United Mambazo is an Isicathamiya choir from Indlovini in Khayelitsha. (Isicathamiya is a form of Traditional African Male Vocal Music.) The 11-piece group aim to follow in the footsteps of their heroes and friends, Ladysmith Black Mambazo.
The choir spent many years performing at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, entertaining visitors from across the world. Their rich and powerful performance is built on a varied repertoire consisting of famous traditional songs, as well as a large selection of original songs mostly themed around social issues. After their performances they work with boys in their neighbourhood, acting as mentors and role models to involve the boys in constructive activities. They are also involved in various community upliftment programmes including Ubuntu Bamadoda.
They have performed at a wide variety of events and venues from Weddings and public shows to high profile corporate events. A career highlight for Khayelitsha United Mambazo was performing at a corporate function for a banking magnate in Cabo, Mexico, in April 2007.
Khayelitsha United Mambazo has been performing together since 1991 and has produced an album entitled Ljubane (Runaway). Songs featured on this album include:
Libi ilzwe mama
Nkosi sikelel’ i-Afrika
In 2009, they undertook a 8 month tour across the Netherlands, returning to South African in April 2010. The choir starred in the sensational hit stage production of “Amandla Mandela the Musical” – A beautiful production of one man’s incredible struggle for an incredible people. The 30 piece cast consisted of Dutch and South African performers that trace the life of Nelson Mandela in song and dance. Needless to say, the show was an incredible success & was sold out at venues across the Netherlands, venues seated between 1000 – 2500 guests. Simphiwe Hobhoshe of K.U.M says that he is proud of the fact that a musical has been written about ‘our hero’. “People in the Netherlands will learn more about Mandela, he brought us our freedom and he’s still working to help people all over the world”.