Tuku Continues to Touch Our Hearts Even In Death




Tributes have continued to pour in after one of Zimbabwe’s most iconic sons passed away after losing his protracted battle with diabetes.

That man we all affectionately referred to as ‘Tuku’ or ‘Samanyanga’, among other fond names, the same man who mesmerized and held us all (and the world at large) spellbound over the last 4 decades is no more.

The untimely loss of Oliver Mtukudzi has without a doubt left a dark cloud hanging over the local arts sector, but so iconic was the man that news of his death has sent shockwaves throughout the global village --- his music and his philanthropic endeavours cut across physical and cultural boundaries, and touched so many souls across the world.

He united us all while he was still alive through song and dance, and today he is once again bringing us all together, in spite of our differences, in wishing him well in his next chapter, a true mark of an icon.

“The passing of Oliver Mtukudzi at such a young age is sad and tragic. He truly was an amazing maestro whose music conquered generations. Will always cherish the many memories shared over the years. But as he would say “pangu pese ndasakura ndapedza zvimwe handibvunzwe izvi”, wrote MDC ALLIANCE Deputy National Chairman and Harare East Member of Parliament, Tendai Biti on micro-blogging site, Twitter.

Joining him in paying tribute to the ‘senior superstar’ was advocate Fadzai Mahere, who wrote, “Rest in Peace, Oliver Mtukudzi. You were the soundtrack to an entire generation and a rare gift to Zimbabwe. We will always love you, a legend and hero”.

What a rare gift he was indeed to everyone that had the opportunity to not only listen to his music but also get to know him personally. To a lot of folks out there, he was a hero for all that he stood for and championed while he was still alive.

UNICEF Zimbabwe, one of the many organizations that he worked with over the years in his humanitarian efforts wrote,
“#RIPOliverMtukudzi, celebrated Zimbabwean singer and songwriter. @TukuOfficial became a UNICEF Regional Ambassador for Eastern and Southern Africa in 2011, focusing on young people’s development, and HIV/AIDS prevention. He was also a champion to end child marriage”.

Exiled politician Professor Jonathan Moyo perhaps jotted down what a large majority of the population felt after being rocked by the death of our musical maestro when he said, “An indisputable national hero, African and global star! #RIPSamanyanga”.

Honourable Member of Parliament for Norton, Temba Mliswa, and one of the first individuals to break the news of the passing away of Tuku echoed those very same sentiments when he tweeted,
“We’ve lost an icon and my condolences to Daisy (Mtukudzi’s widow) and family. I’m writing to the President to apply for National Hero status for his national contribution to the music, arts and culture industry”.

It seems that our government was listening to the chorus of people calling for Tuku to be honoured and what a way to do so than to award this ‘gallant son of the soil’ with the ‘National Hero’ status. News filtering through is that the President will soon make that pronouncement public.

Revered academic, Alex T Magaisa made note of how Tuku’s music virtually raised us all, for, it carried with it life’s lessons and teachings for anyone who cared enough to listen.
“I’ve learnt with great sadness that our legend Oliver Mtukudzi has died. We grew up on and lived with his beautiful music. A truly gifted man, #TukuMusic is also a story of our nation. His voice soared across seas and continents. We were privileged to witness greatness”, he tweeted.

Mtukudzi, through his catalogue of music, took us on an unforgettable journey throughout the years and his legacy will surely live on. #TukuMusic is a brand that made us all proud to be Zimbabweans, former Minister of Education, Sports and Culture, David Coltart certainly concurs,
“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”, he said.

All that is left to say is, Go well Samanyanga, you left us a rich legacy, one that will ultimately last the distance! Even in your grave, you are still able to touch our hearts and souls!


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