They say a prophet (or in this case an artist) is never appreciated in his hometown but nothing could be further from the truth when it comes to Zimbabwean born Oliver Mtukudzi, one of Africa’s most loved musicians. His career, which began in 1975, has spanned over 38 years and turned him into a household name across the continent and the world. The accolades that follow his name include the honour of being Zimbabwe's first UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for Eastern and Southern Africa in 2011.
Oliver celebrated his 60th birthday during September 2012 in Johannesburg with a few select friends including Judith Sephuma and Hugh Masekela. In addition to the birthday bash he also released his 61st album Sarawoga.
Dedicated to his late son Sam Mtukudzi, who passed away in 2012, the album, which is the first release since the tragic accident, starts off with a haunting acapella track entitled Sarawoga - "Left Alone"
Dedicated to his late son Sam Mtukudzi, who passed away in 2012, the album, which is the first release since the tragic accident, starts off with a haunting acapella track entitled Sarawoga, which means “Left Alone” as he mourns the loss of the child he loved dearly. The next couple of tracks such as Haidyoreke are a reminder that time is not ours to waste and serve as an ode to a young life tragically taken away, a talent about to hit its prime.
While his trademark Tuku guitar laces each and every track, he has as always incorporated more traditional instruments in his track composition so every so often you will be treated to the sounds of marimba and mbira. While slightly more sombre than his previous offerings this is a classic Tuku offering and will no doubt sell and continue to stamp his authority as Africa’s pride.
On the back sleeve of the album you will find these haunting words:
“Rest in peace my son”
Did You Know?
- Tuku also launched a new DVD entitled Nzou neMhuru (Elephant and its calf), which relates to him and his late son.
- Mtukudzi founded the Pakare Paye Arts Centre, an arts academy based in Zimbabwe near Harare. The aim of the Centre is to take talented school leavers off the streets and develop their skills in music, drama, film, story telling and poetry.