Breaking News

Oliver 'Tuku' Mtukudzi: Healing a wounded nation through music

by CNN African Voices
19 February 2013 | 3494 Views
He might have some 60 albums under his belt and numerous awards to his name but iconic Zimbabwean musician Oliver Mtukudzi has no plans to slow down.

"Retiring from what?" he asks purposefully when asked if he'd consider a break from music. "This is me," explains 60-year-old Mtukudzi moments before he hits the stage at the Market Theater in downtown Johannesburg, South Africa. "I'm doing me; I'm not doing a career. This is who I am; I can't retire really from myself."

It is, then, no surprise that award-winning Mtukudzi, who is affectionately called Tuku by his fans, decided to mark his birthday last September with the release of yet another album.

Called "Sarawoga," which means "left alone" in Shona, Mtukudzi's latest album is a tribute to his beloved son Sam, who died in a car crash in 2010 aged 21.

The recording comes after a long period of grief for the soft-spoken artist.

"I'm still learning to live with it," says Mtukudzi, who had written and rehearsed many of the album's songs with his son; Sam was a highly talented multi-instrumentalist himself who pursued his own music career but would also often perform with his father.

"I've only released my first offering this year and for the past two years I didn't even think about my music really," says Mtukudzi. "I was just thinking of him and trying to recover, even though music was my therapy. I think I've performed more shows since 2010 up to today than ever before because that's the only therapy I've got."

Born into a musical family in 1952, Mtukudzi has been successfully performing for nearly four decades throughout Africa as well as in the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada.

His foot-stomping music has been described as a mixture of Zimbabwean pop style "jit" and South African township pop. Through his distinct sound and inspiring lyrics, he's documented the joy and pain of his countrymen who fought for freedom under colonial rule and died for democracy after Zimbabwe's independence in 1980.

"Where I come from you don't get to sing a song if you have nothing to say," says the musician, who grew up in Highfield, a ghetto neighborhood in the Zimbabwean capital of Harare. "So every song has something to do with that man in the street, he must be able to use it in his life."

As a young boy, Mtukudzi joined choirs to improve his singing talent and taught himself how to play a three-string guitar. He soon started writing and recording songs and after an illustrious career he is today one of Zimbabwe's best-known musicians.

More than just an entertainer, Mtukudzi is committed to addressing everyday social challenges, using his music as a vehicle to speak about the issues he's passionate about.

In 2003 he founded an art center in Norton, near Harare, and last year he became a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for eastern and southern Africa, focusing on youth development and HIV/AIDS.

Mtukudzi, who lost his brother Robert and several band members to AIDS, recently took his campaign to eradicate the HIV/AIDS stigma to mothers in Tanzania.

He is also outspoken against patriarchy and has criticized polygamy as a practice that increases the risk of spreading HIV.

But as well as tackling heated and important issues with his songs, the artist-turned-activist has also been producing and starring in feature films since the early 1990s, using his celebrity to empower and influence others.

Released in the early 1990s, feature film "Neria" questions the place of tradition in the life of contemporary African women. The theme song remains to this day one of Mtukudzi's most popular tracks.

"I know sound is OK but visual can be better ... because it sticks in your head," he says. "If you see things you get to understand things much better than when you just hear things. That's why we do short films and try and show them to the people."

Back at the Market Theater, a few minutes before his sold-out concert begins, Mtukudzi admits that he still doesn't known which songs from his long repertoire he will play to his audience.




His show, he says, is all about the moment. "I don't write a setlist," he explains. "How do I know the show is going to be for me to plan? I just look for the first song -- if I find the first song everything falls into place, because I don't know the mood of the day, so as I get into the mood I get the songs."

What's more certain, however, is that his audience is in for a memorable show.


Tuku

Source: CNN African Voices

Could there be war if Grace Mugabe becomes President?

Yes
75.47%
No
9.91%
Who cares?
14.62%
212

Comments

Latest Classifieds (Click Here For More)

News Updates

Email:

Latest News

BREAKING: Cops in riot gear chase people from Africa Unity Square

by Concerned Citizen | 22 October 2014 | 733 Views

Dr Grace Mugabe's tours breathes hope

by Tawanda Museve | 22 October 2014 | 716 Views

Matebeleland pressure group - cum political party takes Zanu PF war to...

by Tongai Zwayisa | 22 October 2014 | 626 Views

Power cuts disrupt Sadc conference in Vic Falls

by Staff Reporter | 22 October 2014 | 500 Views

Ebola vaccine trials in West Africa by January says WHO

by Staff Reporter | 22 October 2014 | 380 Views

Zimbabwean woman and her 3 children die in horrific car crash in Austr...

by Staff Reporter | 22 October 2014 | 891 Views

Hail Dr Grace Mugabe

by Tawanda Museve | 22 October 2014 | 1576 Views

Wednesday chat with Auntie Noe - Love and Jealousy

by Nobuhle Virgie | 22 October 2014 | 845 Views

Zim High Court refuses to impose death penalty

by Staff reporter | 22 October 2014 | 855 Views

BCC invites nominations for 'City Legends' - The city of Bulawayo has ...

by Staff reporter | 22 October 2014 | 686 Views

Will Mugabe reprimand his 'big headed' wife?

by Staff reporter | 22 October 2014 | 2244 Views

Cheeky granny (73) kills hubby (77) with bare hands - BULAWAYO - HELL ...

by Staff reporter | 22 October 2014 | 1336 Views

Air Zimbabwe to re-introduce flights to Masvingo - Struggling state-ow...

by Staff Reporter | 22 October 2014 | 822 Views

Man, son-in-law exchange blows over 50 cents - A SCUFFLE between a ma...

by Thubelihle Mabhena | 22 October 2014 | 1155 Views

Mugabe backs Catholics' 'no gay' stance

by Staff reporter | 22 October 2014 | 826 Views

'Evil' granny hires 'sniper' to poison grandson over inheritance - PLU...

by Court reporter | 22 October 2014 | 1103 Views

Why T.B. Joshua's church collapse actually convinced me he is a genuin...

by Johnson Abayomi | 22 October 2014 | 1649 Views

Mujuru incinerated over U.S government and United Nations links (Part 1)

by Itai Mushekwe/ Nancy Mabaya/ Mary-Kate Kahari | 22 October 2014 | 2734 Views

Ngidinga abantwana bomfowethu obesebenza koWankie Express Buses WhatsA...

by Concerned Uncle | 22 October 2014 | 584 Views

NK Ndlovu pulls out of VP race, backs Mphoko - Zanu-PF Politburo membe...

by Staff reporter | 22 October 2014 | 1044 Views

Simba Makoni accusses Mugabe's family of 'turning' Zim into Gushungo d...

by Staff Reporter | 22 October 2014 | 1985 Views

Top cop freed after 9 months jail term

by Court reporter | 22 October 2014 | 1422 Views

Telecel boss Dr Makamba faces axe

by Court Reporter | 22 October 2014 | 1596 Views

Grace Mugabe refuses to shake Mujuru's hand on return from Rome

by Staff Reporter | 22 October 2014 | 3829 Views

HIV+ couple slapped with 39 months jail term for abortion - AN HIV-pos...

by Court reporter | 22 October 2014 | 1010 Views

Zim female boxer Sibanda bounces back - RING-STARVED Zimbabwean female...

by Sports Reporter | 22 October 2014 | 493 Views

Female cop in hot soup for extorting $5 000 - HARARE - A 40-year-old p...

by Court reporter | 22 October 2014 | 1333 Views

Kombi driver loses testicles in tussle over $1 - HARARE - A COMMUTER o...

by Court reporter | 22 October 2014 | 1538 Views

Entertainment

Zim representative in the Big Brother Africa survives eviction - Zimba...

by Staff reporter | 20 October 2014 | 2043 Views

Grace Mugabe's political comedy takes ZTV hostage - For the past two w...

by Staff reporter | 20 October 2014 | 4276 Views

Oliver Mtukudzi to deliver lecture at Musica 2014 - Zimbabwe's interna...

by Staff reporter | 19 October 2014 | 1180 Views

Gezha maoko - Ladybee (Official Video)

by Staff Reporter | 19 October 2014 | 2035 Views

Matebeleland Music & Arts Festival - Sivala umnyaka ngengoma lapho sit...

by Staff Reporter | 17 October 2014 | 1572 Views

Obediah Matulana releases Christmas DVD - Bulawayo-based musician Obed...

by Staff reporter | 16 October 2014 | 1793 Views

Grace Mugabe honoured in song - Dancehall outfit Final Warning has rel...

by Tawanda Marwizi | 15 October 2014 | 2253 Views

US firm makes money off Zimbabwe concept - United States transport sh...

by Staff reporter | 14 October 2014 | 2832 Views
iBlog

Auslogics Boostspeed 7 - More Powerful And User-friendly Than Ever

Auslogics boostspeed 7 - more powerful and user-friendly than ever!wondering how to fix slow computer performance? experts recommend auslogics boostspeed 7 - the most comprehensive system optimization software! auslogics boostspeed 7 is here!the bran... Read More
ITnews 26 August 2014 ago

Obviously, Windows Xp Has Nothing More To Offer

With no support from the manufacturer, windows xp no longer receives antivirus updates, which provoked an increase in the number of attacks on xp users. according to avast company, windows xp systems are attacked 6 times more often than the devices r... Read More
Sergey 12 June 2014 ago