Zimbabwe: One Year After Death, Tuku Remembered

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(file photo.
23 January 2020

Today 23 January 2020 marks one anniversary of the death Zimbabwe and Africa's legendary musician, Oliver 'Tuku' Mtukudzi.

He was 66.

"Its a year on but it seems like yesterday," Selmor Mtukudzi, a daughter to the late superstar said.

According to his music label, a video, Kusaterera, which he did in memory of his late friend Hugh Masekela will be released Thursday. A world-acclaimed South African musician, Hugh Masekela died on 23 January 2018.

"We are day away from the 23rd of January which is the day that we lost Dr Oliver Mtukudzi and the same day we lost @hughmasekela in 2018. Before Dr Mtukudzi passed away he set out to shoot a music video in memory of his friend and brother Dr Hugh Masekela," Tuku Music announced Wednesday.

"He worked on this video of the 'Kusateerera' and finished shooting it in Harare but we didn't release it before he passed away and now both icons are longer with us their music is still very much alive and we will continue to celebrate them in various ways."

Known around the world for his own brand of Afro-jazz that became known as Tuku Music, a fine brand of jiti, marimba and afro-pop, his death shocked many and a year later is fondly remembered for his soul touching music and humbleness.

He was declared a national hero, but before the announcement was delivered by President Emmerson Mnangagwa, there was a social media meltdown as fans and admirers shared memories of a music star who touched the lives of many people with different shades and colours.

For nearly four decades, Tuku became a household name only in Zimbabwe is place of birth but across the world. During this period, he managed to release a record, 67 albums.

For many Zimbabweans travelling outside the country, he became a reference point to those who did not know where Zimbabwe was simply by mentioning the legend's name.

He came to prominence in the late 1970s when freedom fighters were waging an armed resistance against white minority rule. After Zimbabwe attained independence in 1980, Mtukudzi penned a song, Zimbabwe, celebrating the country's freedom.

After independence, despite his global fame he avoided speaking politics in troubled Zimbabwe, ignoring critics who urged him to denounce the injustice. Instead, Tuku focused on giving hope and comfort to a wounded nation, earning a role as UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.

Apart from music, the well-travelled musician was also a lead actor in several movies like Jiti and Neria. He also wrote and directed a musical production, Was My Child.

Like his buddy, Masekela, during his lengthy music career, the gifted musician also chose to impart his knowledge and partner with young entrants such as gospel artistes, Mathias Mhere and Fungisai Zvakavapano. He also did collaborations with the rising Zim dance hall star Winky D, Gary Tight and EX-Q, which were will accepted on the market.

Although he has departed from this earth, Tuku lives on through his music and legendary works. Rest In Peace Samanyanga!

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