False death rumour distresses Mtukudzi

HARARE - Zimbabwean music legend, Oliver Mtukudzi — who like President Robert Mugabe has been falsely reported as having died many times — was once again left fuming yesterday after a dubious overseas-based website and social media claimed that he had passed on.

But despite the crass claims, the superstar was due to travel to South Africa today where he will hold a sold-out show in Boksburg, east of Johannesburg.

When the despicable news about his alleged death began spreading on social media like wildfire, after the dodgy website that masquerades as the Daily News carried the false report, this caused serious panic among Tuku's local fans as well as the South African organisers of the Boksburg show, in addition to unsettling his family and friends.

Scores of distressed fans also jammed the Daily News' switchboard yesterday seeking confirmation of Tuku's so-called death, with the usually undiscerning social media geeks going into overdrive with the drivel, as the false claims spread far and wide.

Tuku’s spokesperson and manager, Sam Mataure, confirmed to the Daily News that the celebrated artiste was preparing for his South Africa gig, where he will perform with the Pakare Paye Ensemble.

“This is the work of people who have nothing to do. They are always saying this and it’s tiring. It is really uncalled for,” the angry Mataure told the Daily News.

“I do not understand how sane people can wish death upon someone. Tuku is not sick. He is in very good health and we are wondering what the basis of these rumours is.

“In fact, we are leaving the country for a gig in Boksburg. Tuku will perform with three members of his band as well as Donald Kanyuchi, Innocent Mpemba and Fiona Gwena. These three are part of the Pakare Paye Ensemble.

“Tuku felt that it is high time he took the young ones out of the country on official tours. This will be Pakare Paye Ensemble’s first official regional tour which is good for them. They will perform with him and the trio at the same time. The youngsters have always performed in and around Harare but never outside,” Mataure added.

In its false report, the dubious website claimed that Tuku had died on Monday.

The veteran musician has an impressive discography in a career spanning more than four decades. He remains one of the most consistent performers whose music remains among the most loved by Zimbabweans.

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