Zimbabwe: Music Promoters Hit Hard By Tuku Death

Oliver Mtukudzi

Prominent music promoter Josh Hozheri last week said the late music icon Oliver "Tuku" Mtukudzi helped him understand music promotion and had it not been for the artiste, he would never have been what he is today.

Hozheri told The Standard that Tuku had such a big heart and was inclusive in his dealings with other industry stakeholders.

"Words cannot really explain, but as a music promoter, to be what I am today, it is because of Oliver Mtukudzi, as we went with him to Swaziland, Kenya and South Africa, as he showed us how promoters were doing things outside the country," he said.

"He was such a great man, a superstar indeed, with whom I worked for a number of years. We used to do our last shutdown gigs and first year gigs together, and the biggest of them all was for his birthday when he turned 60."

Hozheri recalled how Tuku called him together with fellow promoter Partson "Chipaz" Chimboza, so that they could organise his 60th birthday bash, which he said they did in style.

"When I got the news that Mudhara is no more, I cried. The last time I had cried was when my father died, which is about 15 years ago, and today (Wednesday) was the second time. I am really saddened by the loss of such a superstar, a father figure, a man who was so humble."

Zimbabwe Network for Economic and Social Transformation (Zinest) founder and chairperson Takemore Mazuruse, said Tuku pursued his passion to the very end and he inspired generations.

"Tuku was not just a musician, he was colossal and as he sleeps, we join the nation and indeed the whole world in celebrating a life well lived. He was particular about class and quality in his work and so as a development-oriented network, we hope the new generation continues to draw from him," he said.

"We are all about promoting excellence and productivity in local business, media, sports and arts and we hope that beyond self-actualisation, the new generation learns patriotism and respect for self from Tuku."

Entertainment Republic promoter Max "Nana" Mugaba said Tuku's music crossed generations, race, and cultures and he had a song for every occasion.

"In Tuku, we have lost a luminary of note, a man who was not hesitant to work with anyone including raising a generation of young artistes who he nurtured like his own seeds. The industry has, therefore, lost not only an artiste, but a father and a mentor. We are poorer without him," he said.

"It is only befitting that the government accords Tuku a hero's status for his immense and unparalleled contribution to the industry. We are not saying he should be laid at the National Heroes' Acre, but let's honour him by bestowing the status, he has left us a legacy -- 66 albums and a million memories."

Jibilika founder Plot Mhako said Tuku would be remembered for taking Zimbabwe's music to the world.

"We have lost a global icon, a true legend. Oliver Mtukudzi's death is a huge loss to the country, Africa and the world. His music touched so many lives across the world, inspired peace, love, tolerance and unity," he said.

"His (Tuku) great and unparalleled legacy will forever live and inspire generations to come. Tuku defined the Zimbabwean sound and took it across the world, mesmerising multitudes. I hope the government awards him national hero status; if not, in the hearts of many he is a true hero. Rest in power, Samanyanga."

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