EntertainmentLife & Arts

Music superstar Tuku rises from the ashes

THE late music legend Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi, who passed away three years ago, has bounced back from the dead with a track titled My Better Half, which featured rising Afro-fusion musician Mbeu.

The love song, to be released on February 4, is part of Abi’angu 2— an album made up of 14 duets the late Tuku did with his friends in Zimbabwe and beyond. It is set to be the first Tuku song to be released since the music superstar passed away on January 23 three years ago.

Oliver Mtukudzi Estate spokesperson Walter Wanyanya confirmed the imminent release of the of the Tuku-Mbeu duet.

“Tuku’s brand new song with fellow Zimbabwean Afro-fusion musician Mbeu, titled My Better Half will be released on February 4, in the month of love in commemoration of the legend and in the spirit of Abi’angu (which means “friends’ in the Chikorekore dialect. We have decided to release all the songs on the 14-track album as singles in partnership with South Africa-based Gallo Record Company. We will only release the full album after we have released all the songs,” Wanyanya told the Daily News.

Mbeu, a product of the late music superstar, has described the imminent release of My Better Half as a big milestone in his fledgling career.

“It is really a big honour for my track with Mudhara Tuku to be the first one to be released on Abiangu 2. Remember there are 13 other collaborations on the album featuring top local, regional and international artistes. 

“As such to be singled out as the first means a lot to me. All I can say is that I owe Mudhara Tuku a 1000 times. The artiste I have become is largely due to the mentorship I got from Mudhara Tuku. May his soul continue to rest in eternal peace,” said Mbeu.

Other collaborations on Abiangu 2 are Neria featuring Ladysmith Black Mambazo (South Africa), Todii featuring Mr Nhungue (Mozambique), Usambotya featuring Tocky Vibes, Pomba featuring Pablo Mario (Cape Verde), Ndizarurire featuring  Gary Tight,  Mutokwe featuring Charma Girl (Botswana), Handinyarare  featuring Reverend Toggy Chivaviro,  Bhutsu featuring Diamond Musica, Ishe featuring a local group called Family Voices, Tura Mutoro featuring James Sakala (Zambia), Porofita featuring                                   Mathias Mhere, Gashirai featuring a Zimbabwean group called Soul Finders and Munana featuring Diva Mafunga.

During his long career, which spanned over four decades, Tuku valued collaborating with other artistes as part of his efforts to “immortalise” his friendship with fellow musicians.

Tuku succumbed to diabetes complications on January 23 in 2019 at the age of 66. He made history by becoming the first local musician to be declared a national hero. 

He was buried at his rural home in Madziwa just after Bindura town and he left behind a rich musical legacy which included the imposing Pakare Paye Arts Centre and 67 studio albums. 

As a way of upholding and promoting his legacy, his family together with his management team has come up with a number of initiatives including the Oliver Mtukudzi Memorial Half Marathon which was successfully held last weekend.