16 November 2017

Zimbabwe: Tuku - an African Legend's Glory

Photo: GuguLethu
Oliver Mtukudzi

Award winning legendary music star Oliver Mtukudzi affectionately known as "Tuku" said he was shocked and surprised at the same time after an announcement that he had won the African Legend Award at the All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA) held over the weekend at Eko Convention Centre in Lagos, Nigeria. In an interview at his Pakare Paye Centre a few hours after arriving from Nigeria on Tuesday, Tuku said he did not know he would get the award since he was only invited as a special guest to make a speech.

"I got the invite through Zimbabwe Tourism Authority as their ambassador and one of the African artistes to be at the ceremony. I took it lightly and honoured the call. I made my speech which was overwhelming, but all of a sudden I was handed over the AFRIMA African Legend Award. I was shocked and surprised at the same time. I had no planned speech for the award," he said. Tuku could not avail the award on Tuesday as he said he was waiting for his wife, Daisy, to return from South Africa so that he can hand over the award before unveiling it to his local fans and the media.

"Yes, I have the award with me but you can't take a picture of it with me before my wife sees and touches it. You should understand what our culture is like. I can't parade the award now. Let my wife come and celebrate it with me then you will have all the pictures and obviously I will unveil it too. She is away on business," he said Asked what the award meant to him, Tuku said he cherished it like any other award that he has received so far.

"I have many other awards and I can't say which one is the biggest of them all. I still felt the same thing as receiving others. I remember back then when the late Mbuya Chisakara instructed children to draw their favourite musician and surprisingly there was a box full of my pictures by little kids. I was surprised and to me it was an award in itself, being recognised and appreciated for the great work in arts," he said. Tuku said he also played one song at the awards ceremony, entitled "Hear Me Lord" which left guests and fans in awe. Commenting on plans for the festive season and music, he said he wasn't sure but fans can expect a new album.

"I am not sure about the festive season but I am about to release my next album entitled 'Hany'a (Concern)'. It has so many tracks and is inspired by just 'concerns'. You will hear it," he said. Back to the awards ceremony, the musician said some of the performances lacked originality.

"I have noticed that musicians of nowadays want to copy what they see on television, forgetting the basics in music. The issue is also the same here in Zimbabwe, be proud of your culture and heritage. In Nigeria they should question why superstar Fela Kuti's music lives on, it is because of culture and heritage," he said.

"They are so talented but the problem comes when you can't tell the difference on who is who. Musicians also lack understanding on the issue of collaborations. It is about the song, not who you do it with," he said. Tuku shared the continental golden trophy with renowned Malian musician Salif Keita. Other Zimbabwean artistes that were nominated for different categories at the awards were Jah Prayzah and Rue of VeryUs but both failed to win the gongs.

Meanwhile, tomorrow the musician is hosting a show at Pakare Paye with Winky D courtesy of the Tuku Music new board. Chaired by Tungamidzai Simango, the board is expected to make their first test when the "Tozeza Baba" singer shares the stage with Winky D. Simango, who is not new to the music industry, particularly Tuku Music, said the show has been prepared well and they are expecting hundreds of music fans to attend.

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