Tuku on US tour with protege

HARARE - Upcoming Pakare Paye Arts Centre guitar prodigy, Munya Mataruse, has expressed his excitement at being asked to join Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi on his latest tour of the United States and Canada.

African musical giant Tuku’s seven-stop tour will take him and his band to venues in New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts in the US and Ontario in Canada.

Tuku and his band, accompanied by Mataruse, arrived in the United States on Wednesday and are now in Hanover, New Hampshire where they held their first show on Thursday.

Tuku opened the Norton-based Pakare Paye Centre in 2004 as a way of giving back to the community and contributing to the growth of the music industry in Zimbabwe.

Speaking about the addition of Mataruse to the tour, Tuku said that it was important for people in whatever industry they were to reach out and help the young.

“It is the natural thing to do. We must use our experience and knowledge to assist those who are coming up behind us; those who will push on after us,” said Tuku.

An excited Mataruse, speaking just before he boarded the plane to the US said that this would be a learning experience for him.

“I am looking forward to using this trip to learn how Tuku and his management organise tours. It will also be a big platform to introduce my music to some of his fans,” he said.

Mataruse has received  rave reviews from arts critics during his formative years and local media, particularly in the past four years. Born in Norton on January 2, 1988, Mararuse attended Chiedza Primary School in the same town before going to St Joseph High School in Zaka, Masvingo.

It was while he was in primary school that his music talent blossomed.

He started singing in 1996 and joined the school marimba band. In 2005, he signed up to Pakare Paye and started playing the guitar, receiving lessons from Poda Muriwa, the late Sam Mtukudzi and Tuku himself.

He has since shared the stage with top acts from Zimbabwe and beyond its borders, including Suluman Chimbetu, Alick Macheso, Kunle Ayo (Nigeria), Eric Wainana (Kenya) and Ray Phiri (South Africa). His most precious and memorable moments on stage though, have been those he has shared with his famous mentor Mtukudzi.

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