SW Radio Africa (London)

15 March 2010

Zimbabwe: Oliver Mtukudzi's Son Sam Dies in Car Crash

Photo: zimbojam
Late musician Sam Mtukudzi

Sam Mtukudzi, the son of legendary music icon Oliver Mtukudzi, died in a car crash in the early hours of Monday morning.

Police confirmed that Sam and his sound engineer Owen Chimhare died on the spot after sustaining serious head injuries when their truck veered off the road and rammed into the right side of a bridge near the off ramp at Kuwadzana Extension.

The 21-year old singer and saxophonist was a passenger in the truck. Oliver, who was in South Africa when the accident happened, is said to be devastated.

A resident in Kuwadzana told us the stretch of the road where the accident happened is a black spot, as it is dualized and tends to encourage over-speeding by motorists. The road had over the years developed pot holes until the recent road works there. A few weeks ago work to fix one side of the road began and traffic used the other side. Newsreel was not able to establish if repair of the potholes on the remaining side of road had been completed. There is no suggestion yet that potholes or over-speeding caused the crash.

The news of Sam's death has not only robbed the Mtukudzi family, but has taken away one of the country's rising music stars. Soon after he left school Sam went under his father's wing, joining him on several overseas music tours. Oliver spoke affectionately about how his son would continue his musical legacy after he had retired. Every show they did together was seen as a step forward in preparing him to eventually succeed his dad. Unfortunately fate had other plans.

Zimbabwe Human Rights (Zimrights) Executive Director Okay Machisa spoke glowingly about Sam after having worked with him on the Rock the Vote campaign to encourage youths to vote in the 2008 elections. Machisa said he traveled with Sam to South Africa on several projects, including advocacy campaigns for the Artists for Democracy Trust and said he was passionate about human rights.

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