December 06, 2013

On this day December 6th...

DARC Ethiophile Chronicles

On December 6, 1991 Headman Tshabalala, founding member of the band
Ladysmith Black Mambazo, is murdered by gunshot.

Headman Tshabalala was born in 1945 in Ladysmith, Kwa-Zulu Natal. In
1960, he joined the first incarnation of the band Ladysmith Black
Mambazo and sang alongside many of his relatives. The group was first
only known in the Ladysmith area, but by 1967, they began to make
recordings for Radio Zulu and went on to win several choir
competitions. In 1968, their first album was released, reaching gold

Towards the mid-eighties, Ladysmith Black Mambazo had become well-known
around the world, touring countries like Germany and the United States
alongside musicians like Paul Simon. While enjoying enormous success
during this period, the group was struck by tragedy as Headman
Tshabalala was shot dead on *6 December 1991. He was on his way home
 from a family gathering in Kwa-Zulu Natal when he was stopped on the
side of the road and was involved in an argument with a man later
identified as Sean Nicholas. Nicholas, an off-duty security guard,
pulled out a gun and fatally shot Tshabalala. This murder, thought to
be racially motivated, only resulted in a minor three-year sentence for
Nicholas and sparked international outrage.

Headman Tshabalala was buried in Ntabamhlophe, Kwa-Zulu Natal. Since
his passing Ladysmith Black Mamabazo has continued its success, winning
Grammy Awards in 2005 and in 2009.

*Another source gives the date as 10 December.


Headman Tshabalala [online] Available at: [Accessed 30
November 2009]
Headman Tshabalala [online] Available at:
[Accessed 30 November 2009]
Headman Tshabalala, 44, Singer With Ladysmith Black Mambazo. December
13, 1991. New York Times [online] Available at: [Accessed
30 November 2009]

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