Tributes are pouring in for award-winning Zimbabwean musician Oliver Mtukudzi, who died earlier on Wednesday in a hospital in Harare. He was 66 years-old.
“Tuku”, as he was affectionately known, is one of the most prolific musicians to come out of Southern Africa, with more than 60 albums to his name.
“Oliver Mtukudzi was born in Highfield, formerly Salisbury in Harare in 1952. He began performing in 1977 with the band ‘Wagon Wheel’, which comprised another famous Zimbabwean musician, Thomas Mapfumo.
Through music, Mtukudzi tackled socio-economic realities of people living not only in his home country, but elsewhere on the continent.
In South Africa Mtukudzi has worked and collaborated with the likes of Ringo Madlingozi, Hugh Masekela and Judith Sephuma.
He made regular appearances at local and international jazz and arts festivals in the country.
Mtukudzi also performed in countries such as England, Germany and the United States.
Fellow musician Yvonne Chaka Chaka says she is heartbroken by the news.
Chaka Chaka has expressed her condolences to his fans and family and says his legacy will live on through the impact he had on people’s lives.
“What a giant, a selfless man, you know. Oliver taught me to be selfless. A giant, but very humble; whether you were in London with Oliver, New York, whether you were in Ethiopia, the man was just himself. Oliver was a Pan African, he loved Africa. He was a pure African, a good father to his children and a good husband to his wife.”
Executive Producer of Joy of Jazz Festival and music producer Peter Tladi says Mtukudzi’s death is a great loss to the industry.
Fans have taken to social media to send their tributes.