STAKEHOLDERS in the creative industry yesterday said the death of music superstar Oliver Mtukudzi (pictured) was a huge blow not only to Zimbabwe, but also beyond its borders as the artiste was an international icon.
Youth, Arts and Sports minister Kirsty Coventry told mourners at Tuku’s Norton home on Wednesday night that the musician was not just a Zimbabwean legend but a global star.
She said her relationship with Tuku was centred on friendship and she held him in high regard because of his wisdom.
“It has been probably more of a friendship with Tuku than a mutual respect for each other and last year we sat on a panel together talking about philanthropy in Africa and youth development… he said the best form of education can be someone’s common senses and that always stuck in my head,” she said.
“Through his music he united and l think we should follow his example in the next few days especially when rebuilding our country what he sang about and the truth and honesty of how he did that is something that will stay with me and l hope it will stay with every other Zimbabwean.”
Coventry said Tuku was “an incredible person” with great plans for the future.
“I spoke to Tuku end of last year about the future and he was telling me about his programme of young musicians and the people he was mentoring and that
was always something close to his heart,” she said.
“He always made sure that he gave opportunities to young people and that is what l have learnt from him to give back and if we are able to do that together we will be stronger and better,” she said.
MDC-T (Thokozani Khupe) Vice-President Obert Gutu said through his music, Tuku touched millions of hearts around the globe as a man who found his purpose on the strings of a guitar.
“It is absolutely devastating and extremely sad, an icon has fallen. This is not only a loss to the Mtukudzi family, it is also a loss to Zimbabwe, to Africa and, indeed, to the whole of humanity,” he said.
“He (Tuku) was an immensely talented composer, with a husky and inimitable voice. He sang about love, about social justice and about the trials and tribulations of human existence. Tuku is a national hero. Anyway, heroes don’t die, legends don’t die, and they simply go home to rest. Rest In Power,
Award-winning musician, Jah Prayzah, through his manager, said Tuku was a father figure not only to musicians, but to the world and a true African icon.
“Tuku was a symbol of hope, a symbol of peace and a symbol of unity and on Wednesday January 23 we were robbed of all that, but his music will continue to stand in for him and will live for years to come,” he said.
“He (Tuku) was one legend we might never be able to replace as Africans, the hole he has left will never be filled, but we will forever be inspired. Pavo pese vakasakura vakazunza. Our condolences go out to his wife and our mother Daisy and the whole family. May his dear soul rest in eternal peace.”