Tuesday , June 22 2021

Power Break: Oliver Mukqui, Music Legend and African-African Pilot

Tuku used his powerful poetic voice to change entire systems, build global ties, and advocate for justice, freedom, and oppression.


Oliver "Tucu" Mukudzi, who plays in 2018 Credit: Mário Pires.

Where do we start, when we pay tribute to a figure that is both a recently gone soul but a living, breathing and immortal legend?

One can begin with his famous career. Oliver "Tuku" Mtukudzi released a 60-album discography, sold out shows around the world and took dozens of prizes and awards. He created music that has grown from gospel to soul to his own genre, which we now know as "Tuku music".

Alternatively, one can start from the man behind the legend. Mtukudzi is a deeply humane being who lives a life of love for humanity and gives himself unselfishly. He lived a love unrelated – as his devotion to his wife Daisy in Svovi also shows – and found meaning in the family, as his tribute to Ivai Nova shows. This devotion was clear in his struggle after the death of his son Sam and in his song Seiko Mwari, which he described as "complete despair or fatalism, a deep cry, filled with pain and helplessness, a heartbreaking request for comfort and comfort."

We could also begin by describing Mutuqi's deep connection with his roots, language and culture, whose poses he openly celebrates, and whose negatives he furiously challenges. Its use of Shona is a powerful assertion of his identity, and he uses language to engage deeply in the lyrical thoughts of people, society, relationships, and conflicts. "Dada nero ruada, chimiro chako nedzidza rako, pembedza rurimi pwere dzigoyemura, – he sang. ("Be proud of your tribe, stature and language, popularize your language so that young people can draw inspiration from it. ")

Or perhaps one has to focus first on what he means about others. Tuku was a mentor who nurtured the dreams of so many young artists that he built them as a home to develop their talents in the village of Pacare and an art center. He was the ambassador of Zimbabwe, carrying the banner of concerts and festivals, a source of pride and patriotism for many even in the midst of the economic crisis and political struggles. He is a Pan-African Pioneer, connecting the country with the state, peoples with peoples, culture, culture, language to language. Through his numerous collaboration with African artists – from Hugh Masakela in South Africa to the Jamaican reggae Morgan Heritage to the Maltese Habib Kite – he created deep ties that have surpassed the wicked fraternity of stolen elections, repressive regimes and mismanagement by which African leadership have to be identified.

The spirituality of Mt. Matsuyu was at the heart of his life philosophy. He believed in a higher being dying ("The Owner of Everything") who has created all things equal while singing in Chiri Nani. In the poignant Swahili Shona duo for self-discovery with the Tanzanian artist Lady Jay, he sang "Just keep us away," ("I am who I am").

"Where the most hurt"

There are many places to start. Mtukudzi was both artistic, political, conscious, activist and poetic – one who resonated around the world and influenced attitudes, norms, laws, and overall systems. His politically conscious texts were part of the discourse of the continent. Tucu's message through his music was unwavering; he was striving and struggling for a fairer world.

He used his voice to undermine the colonial government and spread messages of hope in the struggle for liberation. In post-colonial Zimbabwe he wants politicians to understand their role as leaders, not rulers. This means rather to conduct a program of social justice and justice rather than corruption and oppression. IN ""Ngoromera"He condemned the use of violence and criticized his nonsense:"Ngoromera ingoromera, harina zvarinoshanda, haringabatsire ", he sang. ("Conflict is conflict, it does nothing, it makes no sense.")

Mutukudi's texts often question the excesses of political power in sophisticated ways. His song "Wasakara", Also known as"Bvuma ", was interpreted as digging up against former President Robert Mugabe who refused to withdraw. The text bvuma wachembera, bvuma wasakara ("admit that you are old, admit that you are nervous") has become a weapon for young activists who are fighting a government whose rule was their stolen dreams.

Tuku also raised a voice against toxic prowess and advocated equal treatment for women. in "Tozeza baba("We're afraid of his father"), he criticizes domestic violence through the voice of the children charged with the violence of his mother. Children ask their father to stop while watching their mother out of pain and suffering. His fight for the rights of widows is closed inHe does not" the property of the woman is looted by relatives of her deceased husband. This song, which accompanies the film of the same name, drew attention to the plight of widows and confirmed the ongoing efforts to change laws and policies. Here Tuku went beyond the situation of widows from the imaginary, rumors and hidden in something real and visible. His song revealed the complicity of society and forced people to change their way of cruel practice.

Although the HIV / AIDS dialogue has been in place for many years, Todi is a tool for turning his tone and changing perspectives. Here he boldly challenged the world to study the magnitude of the disease. Asking todii ("What to do?") He called for stronger action and greater sensitivity to people with HIV / AIDS at a time before life-saving ART drugs are readily available. The song stimulated conversations, lifting the dark veil of ignorance around the disease, and taking steps to remove stigma.

I attended several Tuku shows at the Harare International Conference Center and will miss his magnetic presence. As I mourn his death and celebrate his life, I can not help recall the lyrics of one of his latest collaborations with another Zimbabwean gem, Winky D, about the inevitability of death and the pain that he visits: – Panorama Moo"("We were struck where it hurts the most "). Ndiani achatirayira, he asks ("who will advise us?").

While we say goodbye, we can only be comforted in the beauty of his long-lasting gift – his music – which will forever remind us that a legend lives among us.

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