Tuku brings house down for 60th birthday

HARARE - Legions of Oliver Mtukudzi fans turned out for his sold-out concert in Johannesburg on Friday night.

The show at Carnival City celebrated the musician’s 60th birthday and coincided with the release of his 61st-studio-album. Tuku, as he is affectionately known, was born on September, 22, 1952.

He took to the stage just after 9pm, following a performance by South African star Zahara.

He opened with the popular song Shanda, which set the scene for a trip down memory lane.

He followed that with Ndipeiwu Zano before Judith Sephuma joined him to sing the duet Kupedza Nguva.

Sephuma asked the crowd to join her in singing happy birthday before a cake was brought on stage.

Vocalist Siphokazi, Tuku’s longtime friend and producer Steve Dyer, Louis Mhlanga and legendary trumpeter Hugh Masekela also joined Mtukudzi on stage.

“We use music to defuse tension. We talk about our pain, frustrations and joy,” Mtukudzi told the crowd.
He said that as a boy he would watch Masekela play music.

Masekela received thunderous applause when he joined Mtukudzi for Tapera and the crowd’s favourite, Todii.

Mtukudzi formed his first group. The Wagon Wheels, in 1975. The following year he released his first single, Dzandimomotera.

The Wagon Wheels went on to become The Black Spirits, and he still releases albums with the band.

The release of his Tuku Music album produced by Dyer and featuring Mhlanga catapulted him to worldwide stardom. He has sold more than 600 000 albums in South Africa.

Last year Mtukudzi was appointed Unicef regional goodwill ambassador for eastern and southern Africa.

Through his music, he has spoken out about socioeconomic conditions in Zimbabwe. — Sunday Times

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