Tuku Backstage: Part III

HARARE - Tuku Backstage converses not only with the man’s dreams, successes and adversities but also Tuku’s moral and ethical challenges including the superstar’s hidden secrets.

While writing, I attempted to ensure that everyone who reads the book must find something to take away.

I share the relevance and significance of Tuku’s music in diverse cultures, education, politics, spiritualism and social cohesion.

Part of Tuku’s upbringing, as a young rural boy herding cattle and growing up under traditional culture, helped him collect his identity fairly early in life and that he was special in his own right.

People rise from the village to become great citizens of the world, in the face of all kinds of prejudice and particularly the stereotype that the rural sector is inferior.

Tuku’s cultural identity, in the village, was instrumental in constructing his perspectives on life and influencing his extraordinary themes and melody that we now know as Tuku Music.

A strong traditional culture background helped Tuku develop talent and appreciation of the substance of his mother tongue and richness of his culture and diversity of traditional instruments, beats and dances.

His artistry is not alien but reflects who he is: African.

Whether he is playing in Australia, Canada, Japan or South Africa, his music has been successful in bringing together people from diverse cultures and promoting tolerance of cultural diversity.

The significance of the music, in diverse cultures, is the reason why the music has been accepted in both traditional and contemporary spheres across the world today.

That explains why the American Grammy laureate, Bonnie Raitt chose to do a rendition of Tuku’s “Hear Me Lord”. That is also why Tuku has successfully pollinated his music across the many different shapes and sizes of African compositions as illustrated in his catalogue of collaborations with artists from diverse cultural backgrounds abroad.

When Tuku was growing up, his parents, like mine, and many other families, prescribed academic education because of the notion that it guaranteed decent work. Many families did not value practical music and arts education as equal to academic study.

But if the arts, or music specifically, is organised, it has the potential to turn an ordinary child into an extraordinary person. Tuku is a perfect example.

What Zimbabwe’s education and the community social sector has failed to do for learners and budding artists, Tuku now tries to do at community level at his arts academy called Pakare Paye, in Norton, near Harare, regardless of poor funding for the institute.

The developmental aspect of the academy certainly confirms Tuku’s modest role as an educator.

The relevance and significance of Tuku’s work in education permeates to secondary school level where he mentors students keen to seriously pursue music during his annual two-day solo festival where learners showcase individual talent.

Already we can see Tuku’s role in socio-economic development, in his community, which in time must translate to national gain if Zimbabwe’s policies and governance spare us further rot.

Tuku has reinforced his relevance in education by producing short films, adapted from Shona literature set-books and shown in schools, to complement studies.

He conducts career guidance for secondary learners and gives public lectures at universities. We even had university students pursuing music, coming on attachment for a full year at Tuku’s academy to get the practical feel of the various aspects of music. Other students come to research on Tuku for their dissertation papers.

In Tuku Backstage, I trace the treacherous political journey travelled by the superstar and his relevance and role during Zimbabwe’s pre-independence era right across to independence and post-independence.

Issues of spiritualism and social cohesion come up in my book and articulate why Tuku’s music speaks so eloquently to our individual inner souls and to our societies at large.

Relevance of Tuku’s musicWhile Tuku Backstage, a tell-all book written by Oliver Mtukudzi’s former publicist and veteran journalist, Shepherd Mutamba, shares some of the musician’s sensational hidden secrets, the book also speaks extensively about the relevance of Tuku’s music.

The Daily News has been given exclusive rights by Mutamba to publish a series of extracts from the book to be published before the end of the year.

Readers note that the extracts will not be published over the weekend but will continue from Monday.

Comments (13)

Maybe I was expecting too much!

True Kepekepe - 5 September 2014

True Kepekepe, what more were you expecting because these are only randomly selected extracts (again, extracts) and not whole chapters of the book. This is done in publishing circles by the author/publisher to give readers insight into an upcoming book.

Chipo Goredema - 5 September 2014

I was reading some comments criticising the author's style of writing and someone suggesting that Tuku should have commissioned Memory Chirere or Chenjerai Hove or Shimmer Chinodya to write the book. Tuku Backstage is not fiction but non fiction where the author is dealing with facts. Chirere, Hove and Chinodya are fiction writers and Mutamba as i know is a journalist and here a non fiction writer and his style is influenced by facts and not fiction where writers have the license to create ghosts in their books. Mutamba in what I have read to date is a good writer whether you like him or not. Let us be objective in our criticism and let us comment on literary issues that we are familiar with. One comment said Mutamba is an idiot. Why insult Mutamba? Is it because you worship Tuku and you don't want him to be criticised. Tuku is human and makes mistakes like all of us and he is a public figure subject to criticism. The author has the write to criticise as long as his facts are correct. The next thing someone is going to call for Mutamba's execution the way they wanted to kill Salmon Rashdie. Thanks Daily News for these extracts. You have shown other newspapers the way.

Rex Sibanda - 5 September 2014

I like today's extract because it tells me Tuku's relevance and significance in other areas of life especially education. Arts journalists in Zimbabwe are fast asleep and do not have the power of imagination to come up with a diversity of issues the way Tuku Backstage has done. Day in day out we are fed stories about this music show and that music show without reporters exploring other issues the way Mutamba has done. And yes, Hove, Chirere and Chinodya are good fiction writers. Mutamba is proving that he is a good non fiction writer going by what I have read so far.

Rose Chataika - 5 September 2014

This book must have scored a first in Zimbabwe's literature by being the first to publish A-list celebrity music, life and hidden secrets. I know Fred Zindi and Joyce Makwenda have written very good books on the history of music in Zimbabwe. More of historical narratives and that's important for sure. But Tuku Backstage is certainly in a class of it's own...the kind of books we have read unraveling royalty secrets in England and the secret lives of past presidents in the USA. Well done Mutamba.

Tino Hatugari - 5 September 2014

Where has this book been all along? Very enlightening, fair, balanced and objective. I don't need a dictionary when I am reading the extracts because some authors have a fascination with jawbreakers and bombastic language that is not accessible. This is clear writing and truly journalistic writing of the highest order. Can't wait for the book. Don't make it too expensive otherwise we won't buy it. As for the people who are insulting the author, I think the comments are driven by pure malice and hate because there is no substance in the comments or reasoning. When someone calls the author an idiot it means they have come to the dead end of their reasoning. Deal with issues and sustain your in a sober and civilised way without holding a gun to the author's head? I have never seen in all literary comments people calling authors idiots except in extremist societies and Zimbabwe is not one such culturally extremist country where authors are persecuted for their right to write.

Icho Charira - 5 September 2014

Very clear straight forward writing easy to read and engaging while being informative and revealing. I don't know where Chirere, Hove and Chinodya come in. The three are fiction writers and Mutamba is a non fiction writer inspired by facts. He has his own style and I don't know why people want him to sound like Hove, Chinodya and Chirere. If all authors sound the same then books would be boring to read. Well done author.

Masimba - 5 September 2014

Congratulations. It's not always that we see engaging books like this. Once the book is out consider doing a film based on Tuku Backstage. And forget about the stupid comments by people who are jealous and spend time drinking, smoking and going home to fart throughout their sleep.

Rosenthal - 5 September 2014

Cant wait to read this book. Hope we can get it here in the UK. But there are Zimbos here anyway who are always coming home to Harare and can always get us copies of the book.

Rusununguko Chaitezvi - 5 September 2014

I was reading the comment by a reader under yesterday's extract of the book where someone insulted the author as an idiot. MaZimbo tine PHD syndrome. Kana iye uyu arikutuka author achigona kunyora ngaanyore rake bhuku tione? Vanhu vasina zvekuita vanonetsa. The author can't be an idiot. Hakuna idiot that can sit down and write a book.

Charity - 5 September 2014

That is why Zimbabwe no longer has a culture of reading because people abuse authors insulting them as idiots. And these are the same people who are pirating books and stealing intellectual property by not rewarding writers. Well done for the book. I am a great fan of Tuku and never miss the chance when he comes to Canada. By the way I am Zimbabwean 100 percent. I will buy a copy.

Terry Anderson - 5 September 2014

If it is a book it shall have to be radically different from what has been 'serialised' thus far; it is sub standard. The writing is poor and suggests lack of editing. A good story has been lost in poor craftsmanship

Murah - 8 September 2014

* If it is good a book it shall have to be radically different from what has been 'serialised' thus far; it is sub standard. The writing is poor and suggests lack of editing. A good story has been lost under poor craftsmanship.

Murah - 8 September 2014

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