July 15, 2024

The Loss of an Icon

Dr. Oliver ‘Tuku’ Mutukudzi, passed on earlier today (23 January) at Avenues clinic, Harare.

The Afro Jazz icon’s music transcended boundaries. All Zimbabweans, young and all could relate to Tuku’s soulful music.

Kicking of his career with the group Wagon Wheels pre-independence, Tuku’s music would go on to revolutionise music in the nation and Southern Africa. His Husky voice and distinctive style that incorporated our traditional sounds with jazz and soul, put Zimbabwe on the world scene Where he performed at multiple music festivals around the globe. He would go on to produce a whopping 66 albums in English, Ndebele and Shona, featuring other prominent Zimbabwean and African artists.

Tuku’s music brought people and cultures together, preaching the importance of high moral values and principles through his lyrics. All of his songs were deeply imbued with culture, reminding us never to forget our roots with touching stories such as those of Neria.

Though it wasn’t only his music that touched lives.

Tuku was a prominent human rights activists whose actions help bring to light and eventually end child marriages. In 2011 he was named a UNICEF goodwill ambassador for Eastern and Southern Africa. He had a larger than life personality and created feelings of warmth and value in all of his family, friends and colleagues.

Tuku also founded Pakare Paye to inspire and assist young artists who he believed needed the encouragement and support that society, which had its own demands of what young people should and shouldn’t be, didn’t give them.

Tuku’s health took a negative turn late last year. Details of his passing are yet to be announced.

Tuku’s music could make you dance, sing, laugh or weep. His passing has left a chasm in the hearts of all which is too deep to fill. He has however left us with his timeless work which will continue to touch all Zimbabweans for time to come. May his soul rest in peace. 

Check out this playlist of some of his greatest hits



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