21 February 2013

Zimbabwe: Tuku's Words of Wisdom

Music video by Winky D performing Musarova Bigman ( Resource: Winky D - Musarova Bigman )

Legendary Zimbabwean musician Oliver "Tuku" Mtukudzi, who was the Guest of Honour at the 2013 National Arts Merit Awards held in Bulawayo, gave profound counsel to the nominees, eventual winners and artistes in general when he presented his speech.

The Nama Awards, which were also screened live on ZTV, were held at the Large City Hall on the evening of February 16.

Speaking in Shona, after being led to the podium by a young poet performing powerful praise poetry in honour of his great work, Tuku said Nama was not about competition, but a platform upon which to showcase Zimbabwe's ubuntuism through artistes.

"What happens is that one man's meat is another man's poison. Our fans have their favourite artistes, but that does not mean we (artistes) are competing.

"Nama was built to encourage artistes to work hard. If you produced a hit last year, Nama is calling for another hit from you.

"It encourages us to move on and when we have moved on, the most important vision is to build ubuntuism among our people through our works.

"All artistes are like a mirror. We reflect what a Zimbabwean is. If you do well as an artiste wherever you are, people there will always take you as a proud Zimbabwean representative. Our work is meant to uplift our people.

"As I stand here many of you say 'Ah mukuru uyu ah, akapenga, akapenga.' Ndinozvinzwa zvangu. Ndinozvinzwa muchitaura, but hazvireve kuti I am a genius. Zvinongoreva chete kuti une hunhu hunofarirwa nevanhu.

"Ende kana vanhu vafarira hunhu, whether song ikashata sei sa 'Patapata' (in reference to his song), vanhu havazvione nokuti zvabva kumunhu ane hunhu hwavanoda," said Tuku.

He urged Zimbabwean artistes to give back to the communities where they come from by way of identifying and helping the upcoming artists to keep the artistic legacy of Zimbabwe going. Tuku acknowledged that the road artistes have to walk in pursuit of their dreams teems with difficulties, but he encouraged artistes to walk on every ground, for there are no short-cuts to their destinies.

"Nama needs those of you who are doing well. Selling lots of music is not what I mean by doing well. Doing well is having hunhu which in turn sells your works to the people.

"Uri kamufana kari bho-o. Kana uri kamufana kari bho-o unowana rubatsiro because uri mufana ari bho-o. Zvinobva pahunhu. Kana uine hunhu hwakanaka unokwanisa kuteerera. Paunotsiurwa hauone sewatukwa nokuti uri kamufana kari bho-o," said Tuku to much applause.

The music superstar went on to thank the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe for bringing Nama to Bulawayo and hoped that NACZ will also reach out to other provinces so that no one feels inferior.

Tuku was later honoured with a gift sculptured by renowned artist Dominic Benhura and everything else was as beautiful as the performances, the speeches, and the awards presentation.

This year's Nama saw Bulawayo shining as it hosted, for the first time, the biggest awards event in the country.

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