Who will fill Tuku’s shoes?

05 Jul, 2022 - 00:07 0 Views
Who will fill Tuku’s shoes? Oliver Mtukudzi

The Herald

Blessings Chidakwa

Arts Reporter

It is now three years and some months since music superstar Oliver Mtukudzi died on 23 January 2019 after a long battle with diabetes.

Tuku, as he was affectionately known by his legion of fans, was just a larger than life character whose influence in music spread across the globe.

Life itself failed to contain his majestic music prowess, only for death to take him away.

While he is peacefully resting in the grave, his music is still very much alive, making waves whenever it is played.

Tuku was just a superstar par excellence that even the academic world had no option other than to honour him with a doctorate.

He was a fine musician who knew how to use a microphone such that he became the first artiste in Zimbabwe to be conferred with a national hero status, the greatest honour in the land.

The number of his albums at 67 almost matched with the 66 years he walked under the sun.

Now the question begging an answer is: Are any of the local musicians ready to fill the huge void that Tuku left taht is still being felt both locally and internationally?

Well, Tuku had many students at his Pakare Paya Arts Centre in Norton, where he nurtured a lot of talent.

Young musicians who were mentored by Tuku at Pakare Paya include Ashton “Mbeu” Nyahora, Innocent Kufakunesu, Gary Tight and Munyaradzi Mataruse.

But all these have blown hot and cold in the music industry, failing to break the barrier to take themselves to the top.

Many believe that perhaps if death had not determined the fate of Tuku’s son Sam, things could have turned the other way.

Sam was undoubtedly talented and was already rising to become a star in his own right, but he passed away when he was starting to make an impact on the local musical  scene.

Not that there is lack of talent among the local musicians, but Tuku set the bar so high that rising and some seasoned artistes will have to go an extra mile to reach his level.

May his soul continue to rest in eternal peace, in Madziva, Mashonaland Central province, where he was interred.

All eyes are also on the current stars, including Alick Macheso, Jah Prayzah, Victor Kunonga, among a host of others, if they can rise to the occasion and surpass Tuku’s immortalised legacy.

Mentioning some of the names above does not mean that they are anywhere near Tuku’s standards or that are they too far from sitting on the top table.

With their talents permitting, they could still have so much to offer on the musical circles that will leave them in Tuku’s league.

That people are still talking about the past generation of musicians — Leonard Dembo, John Chibadura, Marshal Munhumumwe, Tongai Moyo, System Tazvida, the list is endless — is an indication that the current crop of musicians need to do more to surpass their predecessors.

But the current crop of musicians should know that they are equally talented to match Tuku’s standards. They are fine artistes and should continue dedicating their full energy and time to the music industry to improve their standing. The question still remains, which music star is prepared to reach or surpass Tuku’s standards?

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