Tuku’s widow breaks silence
Takawira Dapi (Photovet)
“Dee, I love you,’’ these were, late national hero and legendary musician Oliver Mtukudzi’s last words to his wife Daisy, as the supporting machine rang to announce the closure of the curtain of his life in hospital.
More than two and a half years after Tuku’s death, Daisy is still mourning her husband and there is no sign of her relenting, any soon.
“I am still mourning. I don’t know how to stop mourning. Tuku was everything to me. I will mourn for as long as I can mourn. I feel his absence. I don’t know if anyone can teach me to stop mourning,’’ she says.
But Daisy is no simple woman. In the aftermath of her husband’s death she faced many difficulties and she seems to have managed to somehow ride through the storm. She is now riding through the calm and who knows, another storm might rise from the turbulent seas of property sharing.
On Friday we caught up with Daisy at Pakare Paye Arts Centre in Norton, the home of Tuku Music and she was calm, composed, calculative, and as usual dressed fashionably.
Clad in all pink, a matching leather jacket, matching shoes and fluffy silver-black leg warmers, she was angelic and would make any discerning fashion star green with envy.
After Covid-19 regulations protocols she took every question with either a giggle, a half smile and once in a while broke into loud laughter. Unless she said it herself, you could not tell that she still has scars and bruises in her heart.
And, when she tells you about the indelible scars and bruises left in her heart by the death of her husband, she makes you feel the pain. That is Daisy for you.
“I am grateful to many musicians who continued coming to check on me after the death of my husband. For instance, Alick Macheso’s wife stayed with me for a long time in Madziva after the burial of my husband. I appreciate her stance and I will forever be grateful to her great gesture.”
Daisy is extremely careful not to stoke fire and fights. Her answers were well thought of and she was sure to avoid sparking any controversy or hurting anyone, typical of a mother.
“Tuku did not leave any money for me. Many people think he left a lot of money but he did not. I have no money. I am a failing to complete execution of his estate because I have no money.
“Tuku himself did not have money. Ask those who know him, he would facilitate deals for others, he would host youngsters and help them but he would not give them money. He just did not have money.
“I am even struggling to pay the 20 workers left here. I don’t want to fire any,’’ she claimed.
For many, and indeed, for Tuku’s legion of fans, they do not know that Daisy has a construction company that erects pre-cast concrete walls and that the company sustained Tuku’s music during hard times. She constructed many of the most outstanding pre-cast concrete walls (Durawalls) in and around.
“I am the brains behind Pakare Paye. Tuku concentrated on music until one day when we visited some country together and saw simple lodges. I told him I wanted to build some. He was hesitant at first.
“When a white man who used to see me work with my boys on concrete walls early morning decided to leave Zimbabwe for political reasons and offered me the land that Pakare Paye sits on today. Tuku being Tuku was hesitant and he said there was no money but I negotiated for part payments, which we then did.
“I worked on the lodges, the kitchen, the salon and other structures while Tuku concentrated on the studio. Another white man gave me 10 trucks to carry soil to fill up the huge podium. We worked for these things. It was not easy.’’
Daisy is a strong follower of First Lady, Auxilia Mnangagwa whom she says, is an epitome of an African woman.
“The First Lady is a good example of a real woman. She is humble and traditional. I envy her for that. When I see her kneel down before elders, the Korekore girl in me smiles. I am a Korekore and very cultured.
“I like the way she dresses, the way she humbles herself and the way she works for the general good of the people of this country. That is a sign of motherhood. She is the mother of the nation and she fits very well into that cast,’’ she says. Daisy says her dream is to unite Tuku’s family and promote Tuku’s legacy.
She says, she has gone through the period of listening to any gossip. She is focused on raising her grandchildren and uniting the family.
“All those children, Sandra, Selmor, Samantha and Sybilo are my children and I have grandchildren. I want to unite them. I want to raise my grandchildren.”
Turning to food, she says she loves traditional food.
“I love traditional food, ocra, flying ants (ishwa) and mice with starch. My husband loved those too. It made our meals nice.’’
But it is her partying short that tell the story of what she has gone through.
“I want to challenge the people of Zimbabwe to shun gossip and say only those things they are sure of. A little bit of time spent of finding the truth is important. Many things said about celebrities and their spouses are not true.
“It is a painful experience to hear of a lot of lies being pushed round and round, circulating as the truth. Falsehood are never good for people and for the country. Vanhu ngavataure kwavaswera.’’