Exactly a year after Africa lost one of its greatest music legends, Hugh Masekela, his friend and fellow legendary artist from Zimbabwe, Oliver Mtukudzi, has died on January 23, 2019, after a long battle with diabetes.
The 66-year-old Afro-Jazz musician’s death was confirmed by his record label, Gallo Records, in a statement saying he died at a private clinic in the Zimbabwean capital Harare on Wednesday.
Mtukudzi, who is popularly referred to as Tuku, was also a businessman, philanthropist, human rights activist and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for Southern Africa Region. He was about to release his 67th album, Hanya’Ga (Concern), before his death.
He told local South African media, TshisaLIVE, last year that the album’s message was to get people to think about the ‘unnecessary’ problems they create for each other and share love.
“All because we are focused on competing and being better than the next person. In so doing we keep stepping on each other’s toes but that is not how God created us. God meant for us to compliment each other, that’s why he didn’t duplicate talent,” he said.
Mtukudzi has won dozens of awards and has performed with a lot of African legends and stars in the continent and around the world. Some of his popular songs include Neria (2001), Todii (1999), Mutserendende (2000), Hear Me, Lord (1995).
His Afro-Jazz songs have distinct styles with a fusion of jazz and traditional African music. He sings in Zimbabwe’s Shona language along with Ndebele and English.
Oliver Mtukudzi opened an arts centre in Zimbabwe in 2004 called Pakare Paye which is located on a three hectares land in Norton and equipped with a recording studio and other facilities to help unearth promising talents.
Zimbabwe will miss this great musician who is considered as their most recognized international artist of all time.
Here are some of the thousands of tributes shared on social media by fans and lovers of his music.