Deputy minister Mutodi links Tuku’s death to ShutdownZim protest

The late senior superstar Oliver 'Tuku' Mtukudzi died on Wednesday in Harare

In a seemingly far-fetched assertion , Deputy minister of
Information, Publicity & Broadcasting  Energy Mutodi has submitted that last week’s violent disturbances that rocked the country were a prophetic sign of the death of senior superstar Oliver ‘Tuku’ Mtukudzi who died on Wednesday afternoon in Harare.

Mutodi who is also a well published academic registered his sentiments on micro-blogging site Twitter.

“Events of the past week were prophetic of the death of a le,gend Oliver Mtukudzi. They were meant to allow him to give up his spirit saying, “I’ve United a Nation & built Peace. Yet my country remains troubled. I’ve done my bit & my works will continue to inspire many”. RIP Tuku wrote Mutodi.

Mutodi did not however ‘expagorate’ his statement and point out how exactly last week’s violent demonstrations against fuel price hike became a premonition of Tuku’s death.

Tuku died at Avenues clinic on Wednesday after a long battle with diabetes which he was diagnosed well before the fuel crisis.

He grew up in the dusty streets of Highfield, is on record for stating that his first song was his birth cry- he was born to sing!

He then cut his teeth in the industry in 1977 when he joined the Wagon Wheels, a band that also featured Thomas Mapfumo and the late James Chimombe. 

Their single Dzandimomotera went gold and Tuku’s first album followed, which was also a major success.

Mtukudzi is also a contributor to Mahube, Southern Africa’s “supergroup” which had Steve Dyer and the late Hugh Masekela.

He became a global icon and country’s ambassador earning a title as UNICEF Goodwill ambassador, a title that other greats like Yvonne Chaka Chaka also boasts of.

He has been involved in a lot of philanthropic work and his Pakare Paye Arts Centre in Norton gave birth to the careers of young artistes like Mbeu, Munya Matarutse,Gary Tight, Tsvete among others.

He has also collaborated with youthful musicians like Winky D , Ex Q and Pitschoe Lumiere of Diamond Musica.

His collaboration with Winky D is titled ‘Panorwadza Moyo’ where they talk about how death comes like a thief in the night. Indeed art mirrors reality because such (death) has visited the arts industry where it was robbed of a prolific songwriter.

Meanwhile, condolence messages keep pouring from across the globe with reputable channels like BET actually dedicating ‘Tribute to Tuku’ broadcast.Top South African soapie Generations had to hastily amend their script to fit in the news of Tuku’s death.

Back home ,government and President Emmerson Mnangagwa sent condolence messages to Tuku’s family amid massive calls by members from across the social strata to confer Tuku with a national hero status.

Top ZANU PF officials told this publication on Wednesday that consultations are already underway to relay the request to government and Mnangagwa.

The new dispensation has opened democratic space which has seen major metamorphosis in how government conducts business.

In the previous administration the national shrine was reserved for war veterans and liberation war heroes, but Mnangagwa made a shift which saw him declare Professor Phinias Makhurane a national hero.

He (Makhurane) is the founding Vice-Chancellor of National University of Science and Technology (NUST)

His family however requested to bury him at their rural home but government recognised his contribution in the education sector.

In the same breadth, Tuku’s immense contribution in the arts and human rights sector do not need a rocket scientist to discern- its plain to see!

He has championed the importance of Wills and Inheritance through his participation in the Jesesi Mungoshi led movie Neria.

The late Tuku has featured in movies like Jit where he condemned early child marriages.

He was also a principled man who would use music to challenge the system for instance in his hit song Bvuma, which was perceived to have been an attack on former President Robert Mugabe for clinging on to power for a long time.

He has however always declared that he writes his songs to touch people’s hearts with no intention of any political overtones.

Tuku is survived by his wife Daisy and several children.

Funeral arrangements are yet to be announced but mourners are gathered at his house in Knowe, Norton.

He was 66.