Oliver Mtukudzi, the 66-year-old legendary Zimbabwean musician known for his artistic voice has passed away on Wednesday, 23 January 2019, The Citizen has confirmed.
Tuku has died after battling a long illness, he passed away at the Avenues Clinic in Harare, Zimbabwe. The family is set to release a statement later.
Mtukudzi began performing in 1977 when he joined the Wagon Wheels, a band that also featured Thomas Mapfumo. Their single Dzandimomotera went gold and Tuku’s first album followed, which was also a major success. Mtukudzi is also a contributor to Mahube, Southern Africa’s “supergroup”.
With his husky voice, Mtukudzi has become the most recognised voice to emerge from Zimbabwe and onto the international scene and he has earned a devoted following across Africa and beyond. A member of Zimbabwe’s KoreKore group, with Nzou Samanyanga as his totem, he sings in the nation’s dominant Shona language along with Ndebele and English. He also incorporates elements of different musical traditions, giving his music a distinctive style, known to fans as Tuku Music. Mtukudzi has had a number of tours around the world. He has been on several tours in the UK, US and Canada to perform for large audiences. In 2017 Mtukudzi entertained guests at the wedding of Zimbabwean businessman Wicknell Chivayo.
Social media sites are abuzz with condolence messages after the news broke:
A year ago, the world lost Icon Bra #HughMasekela. The very next day Bra #OliverMtukudzi joined us for some #FreshBreakfast. He spoke so fondly of Bra Hugh & the memories they created together. Exactly a year later & they are together again. 💔😰😭 #RipOliverMtukudzi #RipTuku pic.twitter.com/12vehIpwfL
— DJ Fresh (Big Dawg) (@DJFreshSA) January 23, 2019
Rest In Peace – the legend and music icon – Oliver Mtukudzi, you played your role to the fullest and you will always be remembered Mr Guitarman pic.twitter.com/ebuYdKN74O
— Mzilikazi wa Afrika (@IamMzilikazi) January 23, 2019
— Dylan Kardashian (@DylanKardashian) January 23, 2019
Do we have what it takes to be as they were! Giving of ourselves! Representing an African originality! Having Ubuntu! Aaaahhh kubuhlungu! #RipTuku my heart goes out to his family! We must go to Zimbabwe! Especially with all the pain that has been happening there!
— KingTha (@thandiswamazwai) January 23, 2019
#JoburgCares Rest in peace to the Legendary Oliver Mtukudzi who has been a prominent act at many of our City of Joburg events. Thank you for sharing your talent with us. Your music will live on… ❤ #RIPTuku #RIPOliverMtukudzi #OliverMtukudzi ^GZ pic.twitter.com/bJ6wJVcu3o
— City of Joburg (@CityofJoburgZA) January 23, 2019
— KHANYI MBAU (@MbauReloaded) January 23, 2019