Compiled by Editor
Tribute from Thomas Mukanya Mapfumo, close friend and fellow Zimbabwean musician.
In Zimbabwe we say Wafa Wanaka. But this is a generic phrase normally used for one whose good works are hard to put together after he has gone. With Tuku, we say matipa matitorera. We were given and were later robbed. This was a man of many talents. Music that lasts is not easy to compose.
Fellow Zimbabweans, please join us mourn the departure of one of the best musicians we ever had in Zimbabwe. Oliver Mtukudzi was one of us. We started way back in the sixties in Harare and charted the same path for the same cause as we sang, entertained and educated from different platforms and at times from same platforms.
I will say that last year in 2018 when we joined hands on the stage at the Glamis Arena, little did we realize that we were doing our parting shots. Kwaive kuonekana. It was a night well spent with our fans as we sang and danced to celebrate a surprise twist of events in Zimbabwe. The rest of the history would unfold as we kept in touch and made efforts to strengthen our music and give hope to the people of Zimbabwe.
Today is a sad day. Tuku was a wonderful, kind hearted, selfless man who had the mind to care for others. I cry for a brother, friend, uncle, grand pa and sahwira. Oliver was a man of the people. He sang from the heart and he was candid as he expressed himself clearly. His fame rested on solid pride in his culture, his Ubuntu and his focus on what mattered most to his life. People. He found so much value in the people and spent so much time investing in various projects to make people stay focused and be together. At times he added his dance styles and sharp sense of humor to spice up his music. Many enjoyed his music which could be deemed classy and timeless. He sang for all times, generations and occasions and everyone was left with something to chew upon. That was Oliver for you.
Even as the son of the soil toiled by taking his music across the world from South Africa with Steve Dyer and many other musicians he collaborated with, to America and Europe, he never got too busy for his cultural values or his people. He had a big heart for his country. He sang well and stood for what he believed in. With lots of controversy surrounding some of his lyrics, he let people get the benefit of the doubt as he kept trudging on.
Today Samanyanga joins Sam Mtukudzi his dear son who left a few years ago. Mukorekore left a great katekwe foot print and big shoes that many budding musicians will find tough to fill. Not so many of our budding musicians will be able to cope with cultural balances and dynamics faced today. He just did that. He sang not to chase money but to create value in his convictions. Of course money followed his values and he created a steady life that many looked up to. With his Pakare Paye Arts Center, he built himself that legacy and sign post of Tuku music that will forever make his name memorable before many artists and fans.
Zororai murugare Nzou. Sarawega you sang. Tasara toga.
*c/o Chimurenga Music Company*
Zimbabwe’s multi-award winning prolific author and editor David Mungoshi,
It seems like yesterday when the lean sensuous singer with a soulful voice and a bouncy beat exploded onto the Zimbabwean music scene with ‘Dzandimomotera’. I could not have known that we would get personally acquainted or that he would become a brand name all over the world. Humble, creative and gifted, that’s Oliver Mtukudzi! Who will sing a passionate eulogy for Tuku, the man who made everyone cry with his tribute to Jack Sadza, a close friend of his. In response to his song “What is a hero?” the obvious answer is, “Oliver Mtukudzi, of course!” RIP Samanyanga.
South African actor and media consultant Jacob Sabelo Ntshangase,
Tuku’s music connected us as Africans. Through his music we manage to heal from the pains of our atrocious past. What I personally loved about Tuku’s music is that it’s melody and message resonated with all Africans irrespective of age and country of origin…he sang about the social ills. Tuku’s music played a critical role in facilitating regional integration amongst the Africans. Rest in Peace Son of the soil. Your music will live on from generations to generations to come
South African-based, Zimbabwean-born business mogul Mutumwa Mawere, had this to say,
Tuku for those who were privileged to meet him like some of us was eloquent in his humility, confidence, balance, maturity, composure and more importantly his sense of ubuntu. He understood his place in a complex music ecosystem that imposes extreme pressures on actors to forget who they are and what impact they can make by remaining grounded in culture, heritage and tradition.
Tendayi Gahamadze, Zimbabwean musician and mbira player, Mbira DzeNharira,
Words fail me when confronted with such a great loss.
Tuku was a humble and resilient fighter. His voice and the way he strummed his guitar will live forever.
He had his own style and had collaborations with numerous musicians of diverse genres.
It is sad he passed on before we had done something together.
Lucias Matthew FAN
Feeling very low about your passing on Oliver ‘Tuku’ Mtukudzi. You have left a very deep wound in our hearts. Rest In Power.
Lloyd Muzemu FAN