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    Posted December 19, 2011 by
    South Africa
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Impact Your World

    More from JoyfulGypsy

    South African Grammy Winner Creates Safe Haven for Kids


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     JoyfulGypsy says she’s known musician Thulani Shabalala for more than two decades. Her husband is the manager of the musical group Ladysmith Black Mambazo. The group was founded by Thulani’s father Joseph Shabalala. “Thulani is like a brother to me,” this iReporter shares. “My husband and I travel often to South Africa and we have watched Thulani build the Umuzi Kababa Performing Art Center from a tiny one room hut to the place it is today. It's all been done solely by Thulani and his own personal generosity and commitment to this community and wanting to give the children and young adults a better future." Umuzi kababa means "my father's home" and JoyfulGypsy says Umgababa is the name of the village where the center is located.

    On a recent trip to South Africa, I had the privilege of visiting a small village called Umgababa. Umgababa is on the coast of the Indian Ocean, about 35 minutes South of the city of Durban.


    Umgababa is typical of most small, black populated, South African villages. The people do not have much money or many possessions but they are rich in culture, community and good will. And, they love to welcome visitors, especially foreigners.


    What is different about Umgababa is that it is also part-time home to Thulani Shabalala, Grammy Award winning singer with the world famous choral group, Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Thulani, who is a son of Joseph Shabalala, the leader and founder of Ladysmith Black Mambazo, has been very fortunate in his life.  Because of this, he spends most of his spare time creating a community center in Umgababa for the local kids, teens and young adults.


    His community performing arts center helps provide a safe haven to many high risk neighborhood children with nowhere to go after school and nothing to do to occupy their time. The center promotes traditional Zulu singing and dancing and gives children a sense of pride and inspiration for a better life.


    *  For more information, please send Thulani or Ladysmith Black Mambazo an email at:  Mambazo2008@aol.com.




    Photos and video by Lulis Leal  (Please click through the tabs above for more photos.)
    December 16, 2011

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