HARARE – Award-winning songstress Selmor Mtukudzi says she will always regret a 2012 story in which she “naively” lashed out at her father — music superstar Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi — for allegedly not supporting her music career.
Five years on, the Nguva Yangu hit-maker, who described the incident as one of the lowest points of her life, claims she has not forgiven herself for dragging the names of her father and step-mother Daisy through the mud.
“The fallout with our dad happened in 2012 when a private conversation I had with someone I considered a friend was leaked to the public.
“I was discussing an article that was written about me which said ‘my career wasn’t going anywhere, I should just give up.’
“This was one of many similar articles that were written about me then. I was really sad and I spoke to this person via our in-boxes on Facebook and he copied everything we discussed and put it on his timeline. Imagine my shock,” Selmor told the Daily News on Sunday.
With the benefit of hindsight, Selmor, who was in the company of her sister Sandra, said she has come to realise that family issues should never be discussed “outside the family platform.”
“So with my sister Sandra, we stand together today to say we sincerely apologise to our father and his wife for making our family issues public.
“We should have handled it in a better way and we accept that we were wrong. Family matters are handled privately,” said a pensive-looking Selmor.
Selmor, currently rocking dance floors with her latest hit Hangasa, added that she was also sorry for dragging her “innocent” sister Sandra into the unfortunate matter.
“I would like to apologise to my sister Sandra who stood by me and took some of the blame even though she had done nothing wrong.
“I have been working with Sandra since 2012 before the release of my first big hit Nguva Yangu. I was lacking proper management which Sandra was more than qualified to avail. So I asked her to be my manager.
“I have learnt a lot from working with her. And I believe I wouldn’t be where I am today if we had not come together. Sandra is my manager and she also does backing vocals for me,” the award-winning songstress said.
Tuku’s daughter has won several accolades including the 2015 National Arts Merit Awards (Nama) Outstanding Female Musician gong.
FAMILY AFFAIR: Oliver Mtukudzi, centre, flanked by his daughters Sandra, left, and Selmor, right.
Two years ago, Selmor was part of 10 top female musicians from all over Africa who collaborated on a song titled Strong Girl that seeks to campaign for the empowerment of women and girls.
Artistes, who collaborated with Selmor on the song facilitated by an anti-poverty organisation called ONE, were Waje (Nigeria), Victoria Kimani (Kenya), Vanessa Mdee (Tanzania), Arielle T (Gabon, Yemi Alade (Nigeria), Judith Sepuma (South Africa), Blessin (South Africa) and Gabriela (Mozambique).
But for Selmor an endorsement from her superstar father counts more than the awards.
“Nothing makes us (with Sandra) happier than to know that we make our father proud. That has always been our motivation. We were over the moon when we saw an article where our dad acknowledged our hard work.
“We thank God that both our parents are still alive today to see us achieve our dreams both together and as individuals. We love our family dearly,” said Selmor who is married to Tendai — son of legendary musician Zexie Manatsa.
Selmor and Sandra’s mother is Melody Murape who divorced Tuku in 1993.
Tuku, who is touring Mozambique and Namibia this weekend, was not available for comment.
In the past, however, he has repeatedly refused to discuss his relationship with his children in the press.
But in a recent radio interview, Tuku said he was proud of his daughters.
“If I die today, I know Selmor can do it. I am proud of her. I am ready to share the stage with her as an artiste versus artiste and not a father and daughter affair.
“She (Selmor) is now a complete artiste who was largely self-taught and I don’t want to give her a burden because people will always compare her to me. I want her to be herself and I know she can do it,” Tuku said then.
In yet another sign that the music superstar’s relationship with his daughters has improved significantly, in February Tuku posted a picture on Facebook showing his daughters Sandra, Sybil and Selmor.
The picture was captioned, “Children are a gift from God. Proud of my beautiful daughters.”