By Sam Banda Jnr:
Zimbabwe’s legendary musician Oliver ‘Tuku’ Mtukudzi is no more.
He died Wednesday afternoon at Avenues Clinic in Harare at the age of 66, according to Newsday.
The 66-year-old music superstar, whose career took him to the international stage, succumbed to a long battle with diabetes.
The musician, businessman, philanthropist, human rights activist and Unicef Goodwill Ambassador for Southern Africa Region was considered Zimbabwe’s most renowned and internationally recognised cultural icon of all time.
Mtukudzi had stints in the country, performing at Blantyre Arts and Lake of Stars festivals.
After his Blantyre Arts Festival (Baf) outing at College of Medicine Complex, Mtukudzi gave a guitar capo to Agorosso at Sunbird Mount Soche after being impressed by his performance.
“Malawi you have such a great talent. I am impressed with Agorosso and, just to appreciate his talent, I will give him a guitar capo,” Mtukudzi said in 2011.
Agorosso said Wednesday, he was shocked with Mtukudzi’s death.
“Only God knows why it had to happen. I was working on a project with him,” Agorosso said.
Agorosso’s manager, Emmanuel Maliro, also said he was shocked with Mtukudzi’s death.
“It’s a shock to me. He is one musician I respected very much. He stuck to the music he believed in. We were working with him on Agorosso’s project, we recorded all the songs except one which was to feature him,” Maliro said.
He added that Mtukudzi did a bit of the song and were meant to go and finish on the one song then master the album.
“He was also supposed to come to Malawi this year to be at Agorosso’s album launch,” Maliro said.
The social media was yesterday awash with condolence messages mourning the true son of Africa, who conquered many with his music.
Several artists in the country were inspired by Mtukudzi and others even copied his style.
Baf Executive Director, Thom Chibambo, said the world has lost a great talent.
“Oliver Mtukudzi connected with Agorosso at Baf. We brought him in 2011 because we wanted him to inspire up and coming artists but also give people the best and he conquered,” Chibambo said.
During an interview with TshisaLIVE last year, Mtukudzi spoke about his excitement after releasing his 67th album.
He had over 60 albums and they include Ndipeiwo Zano (1978) but re-leased in 2000, Chokwadi Chichabuda, Muroi Ndiani?, Hwema Handirase, Zvauya Sei?, Sugar Pie, Paivepo, Neria and Bvuma (Tolerance).