Tuku Byo birthday bash on

BULAWAYO - Pre-show hype has hit Bulawayo as Zimbabwe’s second biggest city awaits Oliver Mtukudzi’s belated birthday bash at the Amphitheatre tomorrow night.

The City of Kings has been in suspense in the last few days following reports that the music superstar was unwell and would not perform in the city as planned.

Despite Tuku’s failure to fulfil a couple of shows  in Harare last weekend, the music legend’s manager Sam Mataure confirmed yesterday that the Bulawayo gig was definitely on.

“It is confirmed we will be in Bulawayo definitely”, said Mataure.

‘‘Fans must not listen to all these hearsays and public chatter. Mudhara is fine and you will see it for yourself come Friday.

“I am calling on all people there to come and celebrate Tuku’s birthday. This is the only chance for the people of Bulawayo to say happy birthday to Tuku”.

The Mutare-born Mataure, who has played drums for both Mtukudzi and another Zimbabwe music legend Thomas Mapfumo, is optimistic that the Bulawayo bash will be another success.

“All the birthday gigs we have held so far have been fantastic and the Bulawayo show will be one of those as we will come in full force in what will be Tuku’s last gig of the year in Bulawayo”.

Events Africa director Jomo Mhono, who is organising Tuku’s Bulawayo show, believes Zimbabwe’s second largest city owes a lot to the legendary musician.

“It is common knowledge that mudhara is the granddad of Zimbabwean music, so we as the people of Bulawayo we felt that we can not be left out in celebrating the life of a hero in the music fraternity, though belatedly,” said Events Africa director.

“It is an honour for us to be asked by Tuku himself to host this belated birthday bash for him as he also felt that he owed it to his legion of Bulawayo fans to celebrate with them” said Mhone.

He added that several Bulawayo-based music outfits have been lined up to share the stage with the granddad of Zimbabwean music.

The line-up includes among others Otis Ngwabi, Family Voices, Jeys Marabini, Hudson Simbarashe, Simunye Simunye, Willis Watafi and the Outfit Band.

Mhone added that a life-size cake with Tuku’s portrait has already been prepared in Bulawayo.

For Bulawayo revellers, the gig might as well serve as an early Christmas present.

Tuku is expected to play some tracks from his latest album, Sarawoga.

Tuku, who turned 60 on September 22, has already held birthday bashes in Harare and South Africa.

About 15 000 attended the Tuku bash at Glamis Arena in Harare which featured a host of legendary musicians that Tuku has worked with in the past.

After the Bulawayo gig, Tuku will leave for Kenya after performing two shows in Mabvuku in Harare and Chitungwiza on Saturday and Sunday respectively.

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