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Tuku, daughter not on talking terms

by Arts reporter
09 Mar 2013 at 12:06hrs | Views
SELMOR Mtukudzi has for the time opened up on her relationship with her father, superstar Oliver Mtukudzi, which she described as "frosty".

Speaking on the sidelines of her album launch at the Zimbabwe German Society recently, Selmor revealed that the two were not on speaking terms, saying she did not understand how and when this started.

"We haven't spoken in months and I am not aware of the beef. Everything seems to be frozen," she said.

However, Mtukudzi could not be drawn into commenting on the issue but speaking through his manager Sam Mataure, said he should not be persecuted over family matters.

"Ndiani iyeye arikuda kunditonganisa nemwana wangu?" ('Don't meddle in my family's affairs)," he said.

His statement, however, speaks volumes of the two's relationship, lending credence to the allegations that the two were not on the best of terms. Tuku even snubbed Selmor's album launch.

"It wasn't a surprise that he didn't come. Every time we invite him he doesn't show up," Selmor told Saturday Herald Lifestyle.

In an interview with Saturday Lifestyle, Selmor opened up on the trials and tribulations of growing up in a broken family after her mother, Melody Murape, broke up with her father when she was only three years old.

Now aged 29, the soulful songstress said being born to a celebrity has its repercussions as people expect a lot from you.

"There is so much pressure for being a daughter or son of a celebrity. I remember there was a time when my mother had to go out of her way to ensure that I looked good, dressed well and ate well. And when something happens to your family as in my case, people would say things about my father whether good or bad, it adds strain to your life," she said.

"Even now I have to make sure that I provide enough for my children because people will always ask . . . is this Oliver Mtukudzi's grandson? So I make sure that at school my son has everything that he needs.

"While it's normal for most children born to the rich and famous to be spoilt rotten, this wasn't the case with me. I would say that I learnt the hard way literally living off my mother to where I am today. The most saddening thing is that people think when they see me driving around or dressed well it is all because of my father but NO! Whatever I have, I earned it through working hard."

She said her mother had been a pillar of strength and even as a married woman she continued to lean on her mother financially, emotionally and physically. To some extent she believes she is taking after her mom in music like the old adage says: "Like mother like daughter".

"My mother featured in the music industry in the late 1970s with hits like 'Vana Varimunzara' which she wrote and recorded with Bybit Mtukudzi, her former husband's sister."

Ms Murape now works for a bank in Harare.

"She corrects me when I sing a wrong note or even when we choose a wrong dance move, she is quick to comment," she said with a chuckle.

Selmor's mother, who happens to be a wedding coach, continues to impart some of her dancing skills to her daughter.

"I remember when I was young she always had a busy schedule because she had to attend weddings almost every weekend and we would also go with her to watch them rehearse."

At the launch of her latest album "Expressions" held at the ZGS, Ms Murape was one of the many invited guests.

"I was happy to see my mother at the launch of my new album. The album is the fourth recording together with my husband Tendai but my second album as a solo performer. Credit should go to my mother for her endless support in my music," she said.

On the album there is a track called "Amai" which Selmor dedicates to her mother.

"She is a very loving and supportive and I think my singing and dancing genes came from her. Ms Murape is also a songstress who is currently the church choir master at Highfield Presbyterian Church," she explained.

Selmor says she draws a lot of strength from her mother as she always encourages her to hold on to her dreams and never give up.

Hard work and consistency are the words that are always preached to her by her mother.

In an exclusive interview, Ms Murape, however, did not want to dwell much on her failed relationship with Tuku but chose to talk about her daughter's music, which she said was getting better with age, like wine.

She said she was proud of her daughter's achievements so far.

"I know as parents we tend to glorify whatever our children do but with Selmor I am pleased that she is very passionate about music and whenever she performs I will be there to cheer her up.

"I am her biggest fan and will always be there to support her in every way possible. Even if you ask her she will tell you that the car she is driving now is mine and for me she is still my daughter and my second child," he said.

Selmor has been in the music industry for over 10 years. As a child she wanted to be a singer but she had to wait for the right time.

"My first job was at Adam & Sons where I worked as a sales representative. However, I lost my job after I reported late for work. From then on I joined other musicians and groups including Tanga WekwaSando, Kwekwe Band, Jabavu and Pax Afro," she said.

Her latest 12-track afro-jazz album talks about herself as a child, mother of three and wife to fellow musician Tendai Manatsa.

She spews bile about growing up in a broken family on such songs such as "Amai", "Ndinochengetwa naMwari" and "Rudo Hwayi".

Source - TH