Nellie Shabalala was born in the year 1953 and she deid May 15, 2002. She was the wife of Ladysmith Black Mambazo (LBM) leader and founder, Joseph Shabalala, for over thirty years. She had formed her own allied group, Women of Mambazo, in the 1970s.
The group were beginning to create a name for themselves after touring with LBM in the United Kingdom in 2001, but disbanded after Nellie Shabalala was shot and killed by a masked gunman, initially for unknown reasons, in May 2002
In October 2001, Joseph Shabalala brought his wife’s group, Women of Mambazo (WOM) to the UK to support LBM in their thirty-date tour of the country. The group, formed of members from the Shabalala’s church in South Africa, the Church of God of Prophecy, were a hit with audiences. After both Mambazo groups returned home to South Africa, Joseph organised the recording of WOM’s first album.
The unfinished Women of Mambazo album, Mamizolo, was posthumously released in 2003 as a tribute to Nellie Shabalala.