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Mtukudzi grabs world headlines

by Staff reporter
27 Jan 2019 at 19:02hrs | Views
THE death of Oliver Mtukudzi grabbed newspaper headlines around the world befittingly demonstrating the global influence of the Afrojazz icon's work and personality.

Newspapers around the world mainly in Africa acknowledged Tuku's impact on their communities by carrying the news of his death on their pages.

An almost similar story narrated by vast media houses in all their different editorial policies across the globe demonstrated how consistent Tuku was in his work, personality and what he stood for. Though glowing, media across Africa carried heart-breaking stories of how Tuku who died at 66 touched the lives of all and sundry through his music.

While Tuku's influence is deemed to have impacted the southern African region the most, his tentacles as evidenced by media coverage of his death was felt in other regions likes East Africa and beyond. The dominance of stories narrating Tuku's life in newspapers across East Africa specially in Kenya speak of the rapport the Afro-Jazz legend had with artistes and local audiences in that region.

Publications under The Nation Media Group, the largest independent media house in East and Central Africa covering audiences in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda had stories of Tuku taking over huge space chronicling the death of the Zimbabwean icon. The Daily Nation in Kenya described Tuku 'as a legend in the vibrant cross-genre music of Afro-jazz'. The story running under a headline 'What shall we do? Oliver Mtukudzi dies' said "His lyrics delivered through rasping vocals, often carried social messages about HIV/Aids and alcohol abuse and encouraging self-respect, sometimes invoking proverbs and wisdom from his mother tongue, Shona."

Also from Kenya, The Standard had a story under the headline 'Raila mourns death of Oliver Mtukudzi' mentioning that in his four decade career, Tuku released 66 albums and won fans all over the world due to his powerful music which often had a message that resonated with everyone"

The same paper also featured a story on the headline 'Kenyans pay glowing tribute to renowned Afro-jazz legend' narrating that Tuku's influence stretched beyond Zimbabwe making him an African icon.

"Yesterday Suzanna Owiyo, a legend who worked with Mtukudzi in Nairobi last February was among the artistes and fans mourning the musician whom she described as a friend and a long-time colleague," the paper narrated.

The newspaper also noted that Mtukudzi has carved a name for himself as Africa's musical voice, a true believer in the continent's hidden treasure. The East African with its bases in Kenya also captured the death of the 66 year old under the headline 'Zimbabwean music legend Oliver Mtukudzi dies'.

In describing Tuku's unique voice, the paper said, "Post-independence he used his unmistakable husky voice to provide profound political and social commentary. . . he became the most recognised artist to emerge from Zimbabwe onto the international scene and has earned a devoted following across Africa and beyond''.

In Tanzania, three English daily newspapers, The Daily News, The Citizen and The Guardian announced and carried news of the death and life of Mtukudzi with a cartoon depicting a crown being placed on Tuku's head seemingly popping his coffin.

In its article titled 'Zimbabwe and world music star Oliver Mtukudzi dies at 66', The Guardian wrote, "With his distinctive husky voice Mtukudzi had a career that stretched from white minority ruled Rhodesia to majority ruled Zimbabwe, producing a string of hits that spread his fame across Africa and eventually to an international audience".

In the introduction of the story 'Bidding Farewell To The legend of Afro-Jazz', The Citizen said, "Africa has lost an icon, a music legend who was loved by many. If you got a chance to listen to his music or attend a live performance then you would bare witness of just how a great an artiste he was''.

Rwanda's leading daily newspaper, The New Times carried a story with the headline 'Zimbabwean music icon Oliver Mtukudzi has died' in which it acknowledged that Mtukudzi performed in Kigali on October 26, last year at the monthly Kigali Jazz Junction.

"To date his performance is considered among the most memorable in the history of the jazz junction," the paper wrote.

Joy Online which falls under the Multimedia Group Limited, the biggest private media organisation in Ghana carried the story headlined 'Oliver Mtukudzi, Zimbabwe's Afro-jazz legend, has died'.

In Malawi, The Nation announced, 'Oliver Mtukudzi dies' noting that, "Tuku has contributed immensely to the nurturing of Zimbabwean music talent and holds various prestigious positions among them Goodwill Ambassador for United Nations Children's Fund and the coveted Cavalier of the order of Merit bestowed on him by the Italian Government''.

What more shall we say, space fails us to mention each and every media, which in its own way paid tribute to  Africa's Afro-jazz legend.

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Source - zimpapers

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