HARARE – Music superstar Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi has been pleasantly surprised by how fellow Zimbabwean musicians have rallied behind him in support of the tribute concert to be held in his honour tonight.
While the Zimbabwean music legend is delighted that several international stars who include Hugh Masekela, Judith Sephuma and Eric Wainaina will grace his tribute concert, the star’s manager Sam Mataure told the Daily News yesterday that Tuku values even more the respect and honour he has got from local stars.
“The tribute concert has made him (Tuku) realise how much he is respected by fellow Zimbabwean musicians,” said Mataure.
“We have received endless calls from many Zimbabwean musicians both established and upcoming who are keen to perform in the tribute concert in recognition of the role Mudhara (Tuku) has played in Zimbabwean music for several decades.
“Alick, Macheso, Suluman Chimbetu, Victor Kunonga, Jah Prayzah, Mbuya Stella Chiweshe, Bob Nyabinde are all on board. In fact the list of Zimbabwean musicians participating is a long one,” added Tuku’s manager.
The concert tonight, one of the rare occasions in which a tribute concert has been held in honour of a living musician, promises to be an explosive affair. Apart from foreign musicians such as Wainana from Kenya alongside the South African duo of Masekela and Sephuma, the show will also be graced by South Africa-based Steve Dyer and Kenyan Suzanna Awiyo.
Zimbabwe-born South Africa-based songstress Berita Gugulethu Khumalo, Mary Bell, Samson Felo and Mozambican star Stewart Sukuma also make the list of foreign-based musicians who will revere Tuku.
According to Mataure, the long list Zimbabwean musicians set to take part in the Tuku Tribute Concert include Steve Makoni, Albert Nyathi, Dudu Manhenga, Blessing Muparutsa, Diva Mafunga, Ammara Brown, Alexio Kawara, Junior Brown, Jean Masters, Tariro Negitare, Baba Shupi, Cynthia Mare, and Munyaradzi Mataruse.
The tribute concert will be in two segments with most of the local musicians scheduled to participate in the opening one.
The second and closing segment of the tribute concert will feature Tuku who will be joined on stage by the invited international stars and several Zimbabwean artistes.
Local artistes who will make guest appearances during Tuku’s performance include Mbuya Chiweshe, Kunonga, Suluman, Dudu, Nyathi, Nyabinde, Makoni and Piki Kasamba, the 61 year old star’s former backing vocalist.
On his night of honour, Tuku will be backed by a band which includes Enock Piroro on bass, guitarist Mono Mukundu, Sam Mataure on drums, keyboardist Jairos Hambahamba, Strover Maswobe and Othnell “Mangoma” Moyo on percussions.
Alice Muringayi, Fiona Gwena and Tino Bimha will do the backing vocals.
The organisers of the Tuku tribute concert are hoping that it will be as successful as the superstar’s birthday bash last year which attracted over 10 000 fans.