Tuku's ex-wife Melody tales

HARARE - Tuku's first wife, Melody, fondly recalls dating the man who became her husband and Zimbabwe’s most influential musician and father of her two daughters, Sandra and Selmor.

Melody remembers the blissful marriage and how and why it collapsed.

Now read on, the extracts from the chapter “Ex-wife Tales” in Melody’s own words:

I met Tuku in 1978 and he was already doing music. I was on holiday and my sister invited me to Harare, from our rural home in Domboshava, to come and watch Thomas Mapfumo but I don’t remember the venue, it must have been Saratoga or Mushandirapamwe.

I was 18 years old and Tuku saw me at Mapfumo’s show because he had also came to watch Mapfumo.

Tuku must have liked me when he saw me and he approached me but I didn’t know that he was a musician.

My sister told me that the guy was Oliver Mtukudzi and that he was a musician who had done the song Dzandimomotera.

She asked me if I was interested in a man who was a musician and I said “no”. I was a Christian and my church didn’t allow dating circular musicians.

I bumped into Tuku several other times at the shops and I eventually accepted his proposal and we became lovers that same year in 1978.

He invited me to visit his place, in the T-section of Highfield, where he rented a single room.

When I got to his place I overstayed until very late and my sister was mad at me and threw me out. I went back to Tuku’s lodgings and he took me in.

He had nothing but a cupboard, a three-quarter bed and a single door wardrobe.

He did not take time to make enough money to pay the bride price and we got married in 1979.

We were deeply in love and stayed together most of the time. He was not a star as yet and I would attend most of his shows.

We had wedding receptions on February 24 and 25, 1979. A big party was held at my sister’s house in Highfield. My father was so happy and gave us a present, a Renault 4. Tuku cried because he was overwhelmed by the gift.

The wedding reception at Gwanzura Stadium, in Highfield, was one of the first weddings to be held there and Tuku’s friend and manager, Jack Sadza organised the wedding. The ceremony was a success and I think I had 48 bridesmaids.

Many bands played at the wedding including Zexie Manatsa and Manu Kambani. I had composed a song, Vana varimunzara, and I sang the song at the party.

From the money that we received as gifts, we bought a kitchen unit, a double-bed and bedcover (which was brown in colour). We now required more space and we went to rent two rooms. By then we had our first child (Sandra, born August 1979).

Sometime in the 1980s, I heard rumours that Tuku was seeing a woman in Kwekwe. Sadza’s wife also said the woman was Daisy. The rumour pained me terribly because I loved Tuku so much.

There was a time when Tuku left our matrimonial home to stay with Daisy who was now living in Harare and Tuku was renting a full house for her in the medium density suburb of Cranborne, while I was living in a three-roomed lodging in the ghetto. Daisy’s house was even furnished for her by Tuku.

Then I heard that Daisy gave birth to a baby girl named Samantha in 1982.

Samantha was a love child from Tuku’s secret friendship with Daisy and that is true.

(Samantha is married to Zimbabwe’s international footballer, Tinashe Nengomasha, who plays in South Africa’s premier soccer league.)

We acquired a house in Zengeza 3 and Tuku continued seeing Daisy.

There was nothing that I could do.

Tuku was working very hard, nevertheless, and raised money to buy a house in Eastlea in 1982. In 1983 I gave birth to Selmor.

During our time in Eastlea, around 1986, my love for Tuku began to wane because I was not happy with the marriage and the way I was being treated as a result of his relationship with Daisy.

I told Tuku that I was leaving him and he begged me to stay and never to mind Daisy.

But how couldn’t I mind a woman who was destroying my marriage?

He even told me that he had gone to pay the bride price and I asked him why he had done so instead of just paying “damage” and letting her go. (‘Damage’ is compensation for impregnating a woman before or outside marriage).

It meant Tuku now effectively had two wives Daisy and me. But I refused to live in a polygamous marriage.

We were eventually granted divorce in 1993 but the process started in 1986. Tuku was challenging the divorce because he didn’t want me to go.

Tuku was good during the early days of our marriage and I can’t discredit him for anything during that time.

He had a good heart and spoiled me a lot.

He would buy me new clothes every weekend as gifts and I would go to church every Sunday in new attire. I looked good.

He was not possessive and gave me space.

But he changed when Daisy arrived on the scene. We wouldn’t go out together or visit places together anymore. But I would hear that he had flown to Malawi with Daisy.

One of the days, when I wanted to take his clothes to the laundry, I saw in his pockets their air tickets to Malawi and hotel accommodation receipts in their names.

Tuku didn’t even think of a small party for Selmor’s first birthday anniversary and my sister did instead.

I think it was because Daisy did not approve that Tuku celebrated with his daughters.

He only organised Selmor’s second birthday party, I think out of shame.

He would give excuses whenever I wanted to take the children to watch him play at family shows.

Tuku’s ex-wife Melody tales

*Do not miss tomorrow’s issue of the Daily News where we publish the last in the series of extracts from the upcoming explosive book, Tuku Backstage, written by Tuku’s former publicist and veteran journalist, Shepherd Mutamba.

The book will be published before the end of the year and the author gave the Daily News exclusive rights to carry the extracts.

Comments (28)


stanley - 9 September 2014

But what is it taht they want to achieve here?

e.m - 9 September 2014

But what is it that they want to achieve here?

e.m - 9 September 2014

what happened to your love life after you left Tuku Melody. did you have other kds and how many. did you re marry

tonderai marime - 9 September 2014

So how can Daisy claim to have wanted to shoot Tuku whereas she is the one who snatched someone else`s hubby. She should not feel any pain at all. Infact if any she should be regreating the pain she caused to Maiguru.

Takaz - 9 September 2014

This is crap journalism/print. Are you trying to fill up the pages? Its not exciting at all. Booooooooooring!

sabhuku - 9 September 2014

There is a lot of wife-stealing and husband-stealing in Zimbabwe in particular, and southern and eastern Africa in general.Maybe we should have a double-edged law allowing both polygamy and polyandry by mutual consent. That is, if a man wants to take another woman as his wife, he has to have the legal permission of his wife to do so, just as in the old tradition where a man had to convince his other wives to allow him to marry another woman. The wives had even the right to interact with the future wife to vet in order to check if she can fit in the marriage harmoniously. In some parts of Malawi there is polyandry, a woman being allowed to marry several men and the children of the marriage have her name. If that had been the case, this wife- and husband-stealing would probably be reduced remarkably. In both cases, consent has to be legal, not through the backdoor. In Europe people pretend that polygamy and polyandry do not exist. As far as I can see, these phenomena manifest themselves in different ways: by the time a young man or woman marries, they have had dozens and dozens of sexual partners. That is the new polygamy and polyandry.

Chenjerai Hove - 9 September 2014

shepherd is a good writer, i have been following his stories since his days at parade. his writing is simple but sharp and incisive, this is good journalism. the truth is mutamba writes as he speaks, a golden rule followed by such great witers as shakespeare. keep it up comrade, i wil buy my copy as soon as it hits the streets.

cde churucheminzwa - 9 September 2014

So Daisy achieved what most smallhouses can only dream of: snatching a married man from his legitimate wife: bravo. This book paints all characters as villainous reprobates, from Sam Mataure as the 'know it all manager' to the gun wielding home wrecker Daisy. Bravo Shepherd! Noone is emerging with any credit here, not even the writer - we are guilty as Africans of giving a tragic and sad spin to the African story. We obviate from the glories of artistic magic to focus on sordid intricacies of emotive relations. Pathetic

Murah - 9 September 2014

Ko mudzimai wacomrade ndeupi apa. Takanzva kuti Tuku akanga akaroora mudzimai wamuwarvet vakadzoka vakatora mudzimai vavo. Tiudze Shepherd. Mukanya akaimba Madhebhura wangu, usanditorera Madhebhura wangu, hokoyo mufana hokoyooo.

zvamahara - 9 September 2014

Men snatching, 2 wives a trail of girlfriends and what have you. Mwana wegoregore is a true legend.

Maphosa - 9 September 2014

Who edited this book? What are circular musicians? It should be secular.

Emru Kunanti - 9 September 2014

I told you in the previous publication about Tuku kuti Melody belonged to a War Vet and the man took back the wife . Melody ava kungowawata asi chokwadi chaakasiirwa na Tuku anochiziva. The problem is that the Comrades were popular soon after the war and everyone thought the guys would leave a good life basing on their liberation merits. Now that Tuku is rich she wants to be part of him.

tafunuka - 9 September 2014

The warvet story is just rumours let us hear from them and the story is being told as it is. On Daisy and Melody, the problem is men lie and we lie. I don't blame Daisy or Melody. Tuku was ypung and popular, the 2 girls were also young looking for a man. Tuku wanted them to stay apart not even knowing each other the problem is he failed what is written in the Old Testament that if you take a new wife the older wife must not get less than what she used to get. You have to provide well for both, but instead he bought a 'small house' then a house in Eastlea and the 'big house' in Zengeza 3. Diasy wielded a gun on Tuku because she now knew the danger of that. We all know that polygamy in Zimbabwe is real even the highest office in Zimbabwe was at a certain time polygamous.

maita - 10 September 2014

This is a typical case of sour grapes. I have not read anything extraordinary or scandalous so far. Mtukudzi remains an inspiration and great teacher with or without this book. Mutamba's aim is to wash Tuku's linen in public.

Chitotororo - 10 September 2014

I fail to appreciate what the rumour mongering Tafunuka wants to achieve by peddling his now tired rumour about a supposed war vet who reclaimed his wife Melody after the war of liberation. If by any chance Tafunuka happens to be this particular war vet or even his relative then why does he not simply come out and identify himself? How can a normal person sustain a now dispelled myth for close to 35 years? Get off it Tafunuka (Inga wafumurwa wani!) As for Chitotororo, I can only but pity you because you belong to that class of starry- eyed fanatical supporters who will see no evil, hear no evil or even speak any evil about their hero. The prototype hero worshipper. Anywa,y to enlighten you a bit; a biography is just a factual documentation about a person's life narrated by another person to give it more credibility whereas an autobiography is self written and is liable to be doctored to obliterate some aspects of one's life that may make the writer uncomfortable. Therefore a biography like this one by Mutamba is most probably more objectively written than one that is self penned. To Chitotororo, mind you mate, no man is righteous not even the Pope himself. We are all human and of course our weaknesses even make us stronger and more human. Tuku, the great artist, is no exception and so please, do not break the mirror that is only reflecting on the true Tuku, as he is known, backstage, and not the one whom you all worship fervently on stage.

tafamutekwe - 10 September 2014

Murah, you say he author obviates from the glories of artistic magic to focus on Tuku's relationships. You seem to have missed the first story where the author says in his preface that he pays special tribute to Tuku's music. I think the book is balanced as it unravels both Tuku's personality and his music.

Chamu - 10 September 2014

the editing is bad, secular not circular, and line 8 from the top, it should be 'he had also come' not 'he had also came'

dzungu - 10 September 2014

I disagree Chamu. There are intermittent eulogies and unmistakably fawning statements in the first piece - but the artistry is not detailed, it is mentioned in passing. The details are of these lewd escapades - the story of composition...choreography....albums and album titles....success and frustration relating to the music is sacrificed so that dirty linen can be aired in public: we ALL HAVE SUCH dirty stories. The only difference is Tuku also has a great MUSICAL STORY and it is that unique story which we are not being given

Murah - 10 September 2014

Murah, the great TUKU MUSICAL STORY lies in abundance everywhere. On celluloid, vinyl, tape, cd, dvd, TV documentaries and in the many concerts by the grandmaster that we attend locally and internationally . Acres of paper space has not been spared to glorify that great Tuku musical story by many-a-journalist in newspaper columns as well as documented in many-a-books by the likes of Fred Zindi in music books like "Roots, Rocking In Zimbabwe" etc. It is that personal story, hitherto unknown to most of us the fans; the story behind the great legacy that Shephered Mutamba has finally and meticulously documented for us that some of us find as equally fascinating as the great musical story that you are talking about.

tafamutekwe - 10 September 2014

As for the editing and spellings etc etc I think what I have read so far is substantially and skilfully written. I wrote a book three years ago and hired one of the best proof readers, in fact, a professor who has also published. But when the book was published it had some typos and I discovered that sometimes during spell check some words just change because the spell check wants to suggest alternative words. The typos do not necessarily mean the writer is a bad writer. My book still won n award regardless of those few typos because it captured the story that it was supposed to tell.

Eve - 10 September 2014

Murah, I think you are rushing to criticise the author negatively. You are suggesting that he chose the extracts poorly. I don't think these extracts are poor because they sell the book. People love Tuku's music but they also love to read his juicy hidden secrets. I was looking at the hits of one of the extracts in Daily News and saw a wooping 24 400 visits. If the extracts were not interesting they wouldn't have topped such hits. I also think that the author touches at length many aspects of Tuku's music judging by an abridged essay on the Evolution of Tuku's music that Mutamba wrote on Tuku's website some years ago. In that research he looked at many aspects of Tuku's music. I have been following the author's writing because I was doing research on music for my dissertation. I am sure you will realise when you read the book that it will take a sudden turn into many substantial aspects of the music itself that you would want to read. I think it will be a great book, the first of its kind in Zimbabwe's literature. Let us be supportive of such great literary work and not denigrate the author. Tuku is human and makes serious mistakes. The book is a mirror and reflects the personality of Tuku as it is. You can't write a book and dwell on Tuku's music without a few chapters looking at his life. It would be a very boring biography. And the author chose a style unique to himself and personalises certain aspects because he said in the earlier stories that he includes some of his memoirs in the context of Tuku Backstage. Ronald Chimombe .

Marshie Chisoko - 10 September 2014

Murah, I have copied you this comment above by one Ronald Chimombe, maybe it can help you.

Marshie Chisoko - 10 September 2014

Typos are not really an issue. Substance is what matters. And the extracts that I have read so far have substance and substance is what I critically look at in a book. Typos, as long as they are not too many, is not an issue. I saw typos when I was reading Forbes Magazine itself and even more typos in great books by Wibur Smith.

Chinaka - 10 September 2014

Let's agree we disagree. This is why we don't fulfil our potential as a nation - wanna praise and gloat whilst peppering over very apparent shortcomings. Defending typos is too low for me to stoop (apparently this has won some pple awards!) - have ur view and I will have mine

Murah - 10 September 2014

Tuku is a victim like most of us, of sudden unexpected success. That is why the R4 gift mesmerised him , it was just away from his scope of dreams. One grows up in the rural areas and his main preoccupation is herding cattle and his big dream is to own just half of what his father owns. You suddenly discover yourself and put a new value to your life, if the grace of God is not sufficient for you, you can easily run mental. And with men the single biggest challenge during the moment of success is to tell the most beautiful woman that "it won't do". More difficult is carrying on with your original rural girl when the glare around you gets brighter. Whether the man turns to a smell house or creates a small house it all boils down to the same thing "failure to manage success" I am sure Tuku has moments of regret now if the story by his first wife is not laced with lies. On the day of victory take along your original girl to the podium of praise and it shall be well with you. Men learn and repent.

Kulungile Mbelenkwenzi - 11 September 2014

Tuku has now disowned this book as containing "...made-up 'facts', half-truths and false interpretations..." - that puts into perspective your ill-conceived defence of this misguided narrative Marshie Chisoko; Ronald Chimombe et al

Murah - 15 September 2014

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