Story by Colette Musanyera, Arts Reporter
This Monday marks four years after the death of one of Zimbabwe’s most decorated musicians, Dr Oliver ‘Tuku’ Mtukudzi.
Born Oliver Mtukudzi on the 22nd of September in 1952, Tuku, as his legion affectionately knew him of fans, launched his career in the 1970s and is famed for his originality and authenticity, which earned him a devoted following in Africa and beyond.
A wordsmith par-excellence, Tuku was not limited by language barriers, which saw him collaborate with several African musicians including Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Hugh Masekela, Eric Wainana, Mahube and Ringo Madhlingozi.
Gifted with a husky voice, Tuku is also remembered for his signature cough which is evident in songs like Mbombera and Seiko.
His illustrious career spanning over four decades saw him being honoured with several local and international awards, among them the prestigious KORA.
He was also named the UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in 2011, owing to his being an advocate of women’s and children’s rights, exhibited by his songs like Tozeza Baba, Neria and Haasati Aziva.
The superstar’s unquestionable passion for nurturing young talent, saw him establishing Pakare Paye Arts Centre in Norton, which discovered and nurtured talent in the form of Sarungano, Munya Mataruse and Mbeu.
Dr Tuku died on the 23rd of January in 2019 and was the first musician to be declared a national hero.