Tuku in double party for 60th bash

HARARE - Zimbabwe’s music sensation Oliver ‘Tuku’ Mtukudzi’s is in for a double party as he celebrates his 60th birthday in two separate gigs, organisers say.

Josh Hozheri, one of the organisers, told the Daily News the much-hyped celebrations will be divided into a private party at Pakare Paye, Norton and a public party at Glamis Stadium.  

All guests will pay to attend and those specially invited will partake the cake in celebrating the icon’s birthday.

“A life-size cake is being made for the birthday and Tuku will share it with his fans.”

Patson Chimbodza (Chipaz), Taka Mike Mashonganyika, Watson Chidzomba and Hozheri make up a strong organising team that is running around to make Tuku’s day out-of-this-world and memorable.
It has been reported in other sections of the media that Tuku will be ferried to the venue in a chopper and is likely to make surprise visits to fans in different areas around Harare.

Hozheri said, “We are currently carrying out preparations now and the Glamis venue has been secured.
Two parties would be held, one for close friends and relatives and another for the public. The private function will be held on Thursday 20 and at Glamis on Friday September 21.

“A guest list is still to be released but some friends of Tuku from Africa and abroad are coming in,” he said.

High-flying guests expected at the celebrations include Ringo Madlingozi, Steve Dyer, Dorothy Masuka, Yvonne Chaka Chaka Judith Sephuma among others.

Local artistes including, ExQ, Diana Samkange, the Chimbetus, Alick Macheso, Dino Mudondo, Willom Tight, Fungisai Zvakavapano-Mashavave and many other friends of Mtukudzi are set to grace the event.

Government officials and some top-ranking business people and others in the top echelons of society have enjoyed Tuku’s music over the years are set to attend.

Tuku collaborated with a number of musicians and has assisted some local musicians to shape their careers over the years. He collaborated with Ringo in a hit titled Into Yami in early 2000, he joined urban groover ExQ in Ane Rudo, Suluman Chimbetu in Kwedu and Fungisai in Hazvaibvira among others.

It is the first time that local promoters have come together to put up a huge feast for a celebrity’s birthday.

“We will have ground and air road shows for the day. Right now we are still in the process of finishing up the clearance for the helicopter in which Tuku will be travelling in. We have big things lined up for the celebrations. We have been supplied with top of the range vehicles by Premier Motor services and we hope everything will go as planned,” he said.

Hozheri could not disclose the budget they are working with.

“Some of the things have been paid for while we also have sponsors so at the moment I cannot give you proper figures. Tuku is turning 60 on the 22nd, so we will sing happy birthday song for him at midnight. It is his way of thanking Zimbabweans for their resounding support over the years. As promoters, we are actually excited to be part of these celebrations. With the nature of the entertainment industry, it is wonderful to see an artiste live up to Tuku’s age. We lost so many great artistes along the way and it is our way of thanking God for having Tuku,” he said.

The issue of flamboyant birthday parties is popular in the first world countries whereby celebrities throw huge feasts for themselves and their children.

Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise spent $17 000 on fresh flowers, $45 000 on catering and a room with 1 000 butterflies on daughter Suri’s second year birthday.

Mtukudzi who made a name for himself both locally and internationally has been entertaining generations.
His very first album was recorded in 1978 titled Ndipeiwo Zano.

Since 1978 he has been entertaining the world, at times releasing two albums per year.  He will be celebrating 60 years at a time he has 60 albums to his name.

Life has not only been a big musical escapade for Tuku but he has managed to build a music institution in Norton called Pakare Paye Arts Centre. Recently he launched a musical, titled Masanga Bodo (Not by coincidence) whereby he engaged artistes from all music genres.

Those that were involved include Pakare Paye-based outfit Tsvete, Guruve Marimba Arts Ensemble, Tuku’s daughter Selmor Mtukudzi, EX-Q, Pauline Gundidza, Chiedza Chevatendi’s Tapiwa Chibaya, and Jackie Nyamutumbu, a mbira player, Tuku and his wife Daisy, among others.

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