“Music is My Life”

Joseph Shabalala and Ladysmith Black Mambazo

World Premiere



Mpumi "Supa" Mbele


South Africa



Running Time:

90 min



Music is My Life provides an engaging account of the life of Joseph Shabalala and his rise to international fame with his band Ladysmith Black Mambazo. The film covers the full breadth of the singer’s life, from his early years in rural South Africa to the band’s global success in the wake of their contributions to Paul Simon’s massively successful Graceland, which, despite breaking rank with the cultural boycott, went on to become one of South Africa’s most loved albums. As well as the story of that album, including archive footage from the recording sessions, the film also chronicles the complex history of isicathamiya music, in terms of both the political and musical forces which helped to form it. Locating Shabalala’s music at the heart of the South African experience, the film is an engaging tribute to one of the country’s most distinct musical idioms and the man with the beautifully resonant voice who made it famous.