Tuku speaks against child abuse

HARARE - Music star Oliver ‘Tuku’ Mtukudzi addressed the issue of child abuse and reprimanding men who mistreat children during his late birthday celebrations hosted by Unicef.

Tuku is the Unicef Regional Ambassador for Eastern and Southern Africa and he had belated celebrations with the organisation last Friday.

At a colourful ceremony with different people taking part, Tuku took the platform to address issues of ever increasing cases of child abuse in Zimbabwe.  

“I have never had a birthday with so many children surrounding me. As an artiste I do not often get to enjoy performances of other artistes but today I am happy with all the performances by these children.

“As a goodwill ambassador I would like to see all of you become ambassadors but it pains me to see some people abuse children. Abusing children is the worst cruelty ever and it hurts me when people do not respect the future, children are our future,” he said.

Tuku told the gathering that the fell to understand what attracts a man to a small child to the extent of sexually abusing them.

“I read in the papers stories of young girls being rapped and I wonder where the passion to rape a child comes from. Men are supposed to be look after the child yet they are the most abusers. I am appealing to all men, we have to lead by example; we have more responsibility to look after the children than women.
“If we are going to have a better Zimbabwe then we need to create a stable environment for our children to grow up in so that they will be proud of their identities. Please let us respect our children and make them happy,” he said.

Zimbabwean artistes have often penned songs on child abuse, Tuku write Tapindwa Nei and Progress Chipfumo penned Vanochema.

Unicef invited different schools to celebrate Tuku’s birthday. The schools included St Giles, Emerald Hill School for the Deaf, Danhiko and others.

It was an entertainment galore as the children performed Tuku’s songs and with some imitating his stage work. The song master joined the children at some stage and the atmosphere became electric in a fusion of dance and song.

Tuku’s songs Mhopo, Tozeza Baba, Chengetai were favourites with the performing children.

Tuku celebrated his birthday last week with fans and the rest of the nation.

At an event held at the Glamis Arena on Friday September 21, he was surrounded by friends, family and fans.

Dorothy Masuka, Ringo Madlingosi, Judith Sephuma and Steve Dyer were some South African celebrities that graced Tuku’s 60th bash.

Local artistes that performed included Mono Mukundu, Piki Kasamba, Suluman and Tryson Chimbetu, Willom Tight, ExQ, Jah Prayzah, Munya Mataruse, Diana Samkange, Alick Macheso, Fungisai Zvakavapano-Mashavave and many others.

The stadium was packed, with over 10 000 people in attendance to witness the great moment in Zimbabwean entertainment history. Tuku celebrated 60 years a feat not attained by most musicians in Zimbabwe.

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