Zimbabwe: 'Tuku an Epitome of Humility in Dande'

Senior Writer

Deep down in Mbire in the Zambezi Valley, some 200km north of Harare, legendary musician Oliver 'Tuku' Mtukudzi left an indelible mark in the hearts of his people.

Despite growing up in Highfield, Tuku hailed from Mukonowenzou village at Chitsungo in Mbire.

Mbire is also affectionately referred to by locals as Dande, for hosting the biggest stretch of Dande River.

The place apparently influenced Mtukudzi's song Dzoka Uyamwe, commonly referred to his legion of fans as Ndafunga Dande.

The Herald caught with his brother -- Norman Mtukudzi, headman of Fume village at Mahuwe: "l miss my brother Tuku. He left a huge gap in our hearts."

Tuku died aged 66 in 2019 and his distinctive style won him fans at home and around the world.

Besides putting out dozens of albums during his a career spanning decades and attracting global attention, his brother remembers him as a humble person who had a place for his people in Mbire.

"Even though he was well known locally and globally, Tuku held out a special place in his heart for his people here in Mbire," headman Mtukudzi said.

"He is still remembered here in Mbire. In a world crazy about fame and fortune, in a world of greed and personal praise, I'm happy that Tuku remained humble and a man of the people.

"It was his humility and the simple principle that sprang out from him, that l admired most.

"He was a well regarded figure because of his morality and humility."

Headman Mtukudzi said despite the busy engagements, Tuku would attend funerals of relatives in Mbire and interact will all people.

"Tuku used to come here and mourn with others. I remember his compassion and uncanny knack for sharing up status by getting out of the comfort zone to be with his people.

"If he was tied up, he never hesitated to send his contribution or support to his family or relatives," he said.

"Tuku was someone who placed enormous value on respect, dignity and hunhu in every shape and form. He was a gifted guitarist ever since he was young. He had passion for music and he would hide his guitar in the bush when he was going to school.

"His father didn't like it but over time he had to accept this and acknowledge Tuku's unquenchable desire to sing and play his guitar. "

Headman Mtukudzi said he is happy about the cordial relations that still exist between him and Tuku's family.

"I relate with his family very well. Whenever l find time, I visit his family in Norton," he said.

Tuku was a prolific musician, putting out over 60 albums in his 45-year career.

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