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The story of Joseph Bhekizizwe Shabalala is of stubborn dreams. It is about an intrepid African poet of a song whose vision to make music an instrument of peace, turned him into a global icon and ambassador of South Africa's vast and diverse musical and cultural heritage.
Born in 1940 on a white-owned farm, barely eight years before the rise to power of the Nationalist Party and the official introduction of apartheid, Joseph Shabalala had a difficult childhood. Like scores of blacks in a country in which they were daily subjected to gross human rights violations, Joseph learnt early on that he belonged to a people and race that had been dispossessed of their land and human freedoms.