Yesterday marked six years after the death of Sam Mtukudzi who perished in a car accident together with his friend and fellow artiste Owen Chimhare. A number of musicians and fans took to social media networks to celebrate the life of the late musician who died on March 15, 2010. Among the artistes to pay tribute to Sam was Dendera musician Suluman “Sulu” Chimbetu who said he will always cherish the days he had with the late star.Sulu is one of the musicians that will perform at a concert to celebrate Sam’s life at Pakare Paye Arts Centre in Norton. Other artistes to take part at the gig are Oliver Mtukudzi, Alick Macheso, Jah Prayzah, Sam Dondo, Gary Tight and Prince Edward Jazz Band.
“We were brothers in the arts industry and we were also close. We used to chat about our work many times and he was a friendly young man. There was a time we discussed about doing a collaboration and he was excited about the idea. However, he died before we could not fulfil the plan,” said Sulu.
“I admired his talent and courage and we had a lot in common as musicians that were following their father’s footstep. We laughed at how we did music behind our fathers’ backs and how they later discovered that we were doing music.
“Sam said he would play the guitar when his father was not at home and he was happy to enrol at Prince Edward school where he joined the school band. I have a similar story because my father did not want me to pursue music. He only realised that I was doing music when he heard about our farm band that was doing shows around Chegutu.
“Unlike Sam who got early permission to pursue music professionally, my father only allowed me to join him on stage during his last days because he wanted me to concentrate on my profession as a soldier.
“We shared such stories and would also talk about experiences and challenges in the arts industry and the challenge of matching the standards set by our fathers in the music industry. We encouraged each other to work hard and create our own brands that could compete in the music industry.
“He was determined to build a brand separate from the Tuku brand and he was set to achieve that goal because his music had started to attract attention and he was gaining experience. Sadly, he is no longer with us but we will always remember him for what he did and we will be performing to celebrate his life on Friday.”
Sulu said he was happy with the relationship he has with Tuku and also looks up to him as a father in the industry. They have shared the stage on several occasions and done collaborations on three songs.