MARCUS MUSHONGA in Harare / SAVIOUS KWINIKA in Johannesburg
HARARE – ZIMBABWE and the entire music world have been thrust into mourning following the death of iconic musician, Oliver Mtukudzi.
He died at the Avenues Clinic in Harare on Wednesday at the age of 66 following a battle with diabetes.
The globally-recognised Mtukudzi, who is hailed as one of the best musicians from the continent, was working on his 67th album at the time of his death.
David Coltart, the former Culture Minister, was among the first to pay tribute to the deceased.
“Rest in peace Oliver Mtukudzi. If anyone ever made me proud to be Zimbabwean it was you. Thank you for making us happy for so long, especially during the darkest days,” Coltart said.
Zimbabwe Exiles Forum (ZEF) executive director, Advocate Gabriel Shumba said: “Mtukudzi music would transcend across borders hence colloborating with the likes of Hugh Masekela and many others. I watched him both home (Zimbabwe) and exile), and he will be greatly missed.”
Musicians in neighbouring South Africa also expressed sadness at his death.
Actress Khanyi Mbawu tweeted, “Rest in peace King. Your legacy lives on.”
Fellow performer, Mazwai Thandiswa, also paid tribute.
“RIP to a most humble and incredible musician whose music was universally loved,” she stated.
Mazwai pointed out Mtukudzi’s death came exactly a year after fellow legend, Hugh Masekela’s death.
Mtukudzi toured several countries and South Africa was like his second home.
He was a Goodwill Ambassador for United Nations Children’s Fund and the coveted Cavaliere of the Order of Merit bestowed on him by the Italian government.
Mtukudzi began performing in 1977. His most popular songs include Neria, Todii and Bvuma.
His son Sam Mtukudzi, a successful musician in his own right, died in a car accident in 2010.
– CAJ News