Zimbabwe: Mhofela Pays Tribute to Tuku

Oliver Mtukudzi.

Unheralded South Africa-based Zimbabwean Afro-jazz musician Darlington "Mhofela" Tanganyika says his music is inspired by the voyage of trials and tribulations in his life.

The musician, based in Johannesburg, told Standard Style that the late great musician Oliver Mtukudzi played an important role in his life by singing songs that uplifted him socially and spiritually.

"I started music in 2015 and I can say this was a calling out of some hardships in life. Music became a pillar of strength," said Tanganyika.

With two albums -- Rwendo and Mhaiyo -- under his belt, Tanganyika has released a single titled Matitorera, a dedication to Mtukudzi.

"This song Matitorera is a tribute to the late Oliver Mtukudzi. Tuku was my role model and a father. The message in his music has great depth which really inspired me to do music," he said.

Fusing the acoustic guitar rhythm with melodic synths, Tanganyika is proving to the world that he could have been cut from the same cloth as Pakare Paye Arts Centre founder.

"I might not have gone through Pakare Paye Arts Centre, but my music revolves around the acoustic guitar. Many people here have likened me to Mudhara Tuku and I don't hide that... Tuku inspired me so much," Tanganyika said.

Tanganyika said because of his Korekore roots, his music sounds more like that of the late music superstar. Tuku had that distinctive raspy voice powered by his Korekore twang.

Fondly known by the stage name Mhofela, Tanganyika said this year he would raise the bar to earn recognition in the cut-throat arts industry where he has for the past four years operated under shadows of other musicians.

"I am working on a number of projects in order to improve visibility in the industry. I want to make my music reach every household in Africa and I want to be known globally," he said.

"I am in the studio working on my third album titled Nhiyo and before that I will release a gospel track. The album is done and it will come out soon."

The album carries tracks such as Chihera, Gore Kore, Nzanga, Chindangu Ndega, Paruzevha, Mufaro Wangu, Nhiyo (the title track) and Muka.

Backed by a star-studded outfit - The Journey -- Mhofela bemoaned lack of music promoters in Zimbabwe.

"The challenge is that we don't have people who want to support us to have shows in Zimbabwe. Yes, they promote us here in South Africa, but when it comes to Zimbabwe, promoters are hard to come by," he said.

The Chiweshe-born and bred musician said he was looking forward to work with other musicians.

"I want to have collaborations so that I add value to my music. My door is open and those willing to join forces are free to come," he said.

The single Matitorera, which was recorded at Camel Studios and mixed by Isaac Sando, features Nicholas Sando Musonza on lead and acoustic, former Alick Macheso drummer Obert Gomba on drums, Lucky Andries on keyboard and Simon Meck. Tanganyika is the vocalist.

Tanganyika was among supporting acts at the recent Macheso show in Johannesburg.

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