6 August 2017

Zimbabwe: Tuku Shares His Secret to Success

Photo: GuguLethu
Oliver Mtukudzi

The only formula to extract value off the music industry is to maintain a good character and not talent and expertise alone, veteran Afro-jazz musician Oliver Mtukudzi has said.

Most musicians have proven unconventional and in most cases do not follow social dictates, as evidenced by their carefree lifestyle.

In a rare speech at the celebration of his inclusion in Forbes Africa's magazine which listed him among its "Top 10 most bankable artists on the continent", Tuku attributed his success to culturally apt personal conduct.

"Most of us take good character for granted, thinking we will get the right traits as we progress academically. It is up to you, but look at me I am being honoured even though I do not remember what I did," he said.

Mtukudzi is ranked 10th in the list consisting of African musicians like Senegalese Akon, Nigerian music moguls Don Jazzy, Davido and Wizkid, South African's jazz singer Hugh Masekela and Black Coffee, Ghana's Sarkodie, US-based Jidenna and Tinashe.

Famed for his lyrically-rich music that gained him repute in the country, the human rights activist and Unicef goodwill ambassador for southern Africa told The Standard Style last week that "common sense" can spur artists to greater heights.

"It is about understanding common sense; when you are told by the elderly to do things in a certain way, you do that," he said.

"If you know that, everything falls into place, even your creativity will never cross the line, it will be good because you are well-mannered."

In the past, some once-celebrated musicians have ended up in shreds after their moment of fame fades owing to careless demeanour with a good example being former Njerama Boys frontman Paradzai Mesi who was recently rescued from the doldrums.

Some have failed to earn as much from their acclaimed fame as a result of failure to manage themselves, but Tuku believes there are qualities someone cannot get from school but rather submission to advice from elders in society.

"A good character I guess is understanding common sense and that is what our elders have, at our homes that is the education we get and it should be respected and applied," he said.

The acoustic guitar strummer also lauded his wife, Daisy, for the achievements as he said she helps even when he is writing some of the songs.

"Most women will pull you down because they will not give you the chance to flourish but mine gives me the opportunity to flourish."

This is not the first time Tuku has earned recognition from Forbes Africa as he was ranked 12th among 40 in the "most powerful celebrities in Africa" list in 2011.

The event, which was attended by many guests in the business and arts sectors, was held at Tuku's Pakare Paye Arts Centre and was organised by Norton MP Temba Mliswa.

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