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Double celebration for Tuku

The story for 2016 is still being written and has so far been characterised by many twists and turns in all facets of life, but what one cannot leave out is the exhilarating competition on the music spectrum.

By Kennedy Nyavaya

Names in every genre have been made, maintained and ravaged over the course of the year as new albums get into the market before others even have a chance to settle.

With big names, including Alick Macheso, Leonard Zhakata and Jah Prayzah having registered their presence, it would seem thoughtless for another musician to follow suit, except if it is the legendary jazz maestro Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi.

Tuku’s much-anticipated 65th album titled Eheka! Nhai Yahwe (Enjoy! My Dear Friend) is officially coming home and the legend will celebrate it in style on his 64th birthday.

He will launch the album at Pakare Paye Arts Centre in Norton on Thursday, on his birthday.

Like wine, Mtukudzi’s Tuku Music brand is a sound which matures with age and his husky voice coupled with guitar strumming prowess have landed him at the top.

It is no secret that Nzou, Samanyanga (Tuku’s totem) has managed to impress with his all-encompassing music which cuts across ethnicity, race and age in his past albums.

Apart from meaningful lyrics, the latest album that was initially released in South Africa and online two weeks ago has stunning collaborations where he featured his wife (Daisy) and South African legend Hugh Masekela on two tracks.

There is no doubt that such kind of unpredictability has helped him soar in the entertainment sector with elegant poise, leaving his name an iconic feature, of Zimbabwean artistic magic.

He began performing in 1977 when he joined the Wagon Wheels with their single Dzandimomotera going gold, culminating in his first album titled Ndipeiwo Zano, a year later.

Exuding uncontested talent, the album became an instant success and the rest is history in which he has been known never to disappoint in his 41-year long career.

“I would not call it a career because I have yet to decide what career I am going to pursue. I am only doing me. My journey since 1975 has not been easy,” Tuku told South Africa’s Sowetan Live recently

“It’s taken persistence, a lot of hard work and a lot of creativity. I am glad I have gotten this far.”

Tuku also exceptionally starred in movies including Neria and Shanda apart from doing soundtracks for many others in his long spurring artistry.

Such efforts have not gone unnoticed both on the local scene as well as internationally where he has received recognition through awards and honorary gongs.

To date, Tuku stands as one of Zimbabwe’s most decorated and internationally recognised cultural icons while he also delves in human rights activism as Unicef’s goodwill ambassador for southern Africa.

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