Vusi Mahlasela, one of the most distinctive musical voices today

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Click here to view the lyrics of "Weeping"
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Click here to view some details about Ladysmith Black Mambazo
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Click here to view a very compressed history of the anti Apartheid movement in South Africa
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Much can be written about the incredible voice of Vusi Mahlasela, one of the most prominent vocalists in South Africa today.
Vusi Mahlasela grew up in Mamelodi, a neighborhood of Pretoria, South Africa. Surrounded by music as a child, the young Vusi Mahlasela constructed his own guitar from tin cans and fishing-line, and began to teach himself to play.
When Vusi Mahlasela entered high school, he had access to formal guitar lessons, and also assembled his own vocal group.
The incredible vocal range of Vusi Mahlasela enabled him to sing high soprano parts, even during his teen years.
Around the age of seventeen, Vusi Mahlasela began to write his own words and music.

In that era of oppression in South Africa, Vusi Mahlasela wrote of political themes, and soon there was great demand for Vusi Mahlasela at activist rallies.
Vusi Mahlasela joined the "Ancestors of Africa", a group of stage performers (actors, musicians and poets) who were constantly harrassed for being subversive, by the authorities. Even if Vusi Mahlasela merely needed to leave town to play at a wedding, it would first have to be reported to the police. But Vusi Mahlasela persevered.

In 1988, when he joined the Congress of South African Writers, Vusi Mahlasela's writing blossomed, thanks to contact with South African poets like Lesego Rampolokeng, and exposure to the music of exiled South african singer Miriam Makeba and the work of Chilean activist folk-singer Victor Jara.
Vusi Mahlasela’s international debut occurred at the Zabalaza Festival in London, in 1990.

The first album by Vusi Mahlasela, "When You Come Back" (referring to those who had left South Africa for political exile), was released in South Africa in 1992, and turned many listeners into Vusi Mahlasela fans.
But probably the most important appearance for Vusi Mahlasela came in May 1994 in Pretoria, at the inauguration of Nelson Mandela as the first president of the liberated South Africa, when Vusi Mahlasela was among the lineup of musicians on stage.

That same year saw the second album by Vusi Mahlasela, "Wisdom of Forgiveness", dedicated to peace and resolution during that time of change and upheaval in South Africa. Again, Vusi Mahlasela had a fruitful partnership with Lesego Rampolokeng and teamed up with phenomenal Zimbabwean guitarist Louis Mhlanga. The success of this album gained a Best Male Vocalist nomination for Vusi Mahlasela at South African Music Awards (SAMA).

After the release of "Wisdom of Forgiveness", Vusi Mahlasela toured widely, performing in Belgium, and, starting in 1996, in the USA. Subsequently other Western European and Southern African countries have witnessed the magic of Vusi Mahlasela.

The third Vusi Mahlasela album, "Silang Mabele", was released in 1997, and earned South African Music Awards for Best Male Vocalist and Best Album.
Enormously-popular American singer, Josh Groban used Vusi Mahlasela as a guest vocalist on his 2006 recording of the South African freedom song, "Weeping".
May the tender voice of Vusi Mahlasela continue to delight us for many years to come!

Click here for "Weeping" Homepage

Weeping , written by Dan Heymann (sometimes mis-spelled as Dan Heyman ), is a famous protest song that emerged from the South African anti Apartheid movement during the mid-1980's, and this song of freedom has been recorded by many artists, including noted South African band Bright Blue and, more recently, Josh Groban , in a collaboration with Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Vusi Mahlasela , who has previously released a solo recording of this song of protest . The anti Apartheid lyrics Weeping contains are among the most-recorded freedom song lyrics of any protest song to have come out of South Africa. The Weeping song (rights to which are partially controlled by Muffled Music ) led to a February, 2006, encounter between singer Josh Groban and songwriter Dan Heymann (occasionally mis-spelled as Heyman ) at New York City's Sony Studios, a legendary institution which has given many a song freedom to soar. It was a thrill for Dan to hear his anti Apartheid song being recorded by such a high-caliber team. Having been a musician in contact with various anti-Apartheid movements during the Freedom-Struggle in South Africa, when examining the Weeping lyrics , Dan was thrilled to feel the connection of his lyric to protest song tradition. When the time came to add backing vocals, nobody needed to teach Vusi Mahlasela lyrics to the Weeping song , having already performed it live so many times, and this new rendition of Dan's familiar rhyming- lyric protest song should give the song freedom to reach many new listeners. Many protest songs were inspired by the anti Apartheid movement and Dan is proud that his freedom song has been so well-received, particularly when there are already so many wonderful anti-Apartheid protest song lyrics in existence.