Talent is God-given: Tuku

HARARE - Superstar Oliver Mtukudzi has been in the music industry for a long time. He has seen it all as far as music is concerned.

Tuku is arguably the most decorated and well-travelled Zimbabwean artiste with many accomplishments in music.

He has over 60 music albums to his name.

To share his experiences, Tuku founded Pakare Paye Arts Centre in Norton — an institution of repute — which has become a household name in the arts.

This is a place where budding artistes are afforded a platform to showcase their talents.

The place has produced a number of artistes who are now holding their own, talk of Munyaradzi Mutarutse, Mbeu, Norman Masamba, Tsvete and a number of other performing artistes.

Pakare Paye is also a hub where festivals can now be held such as the recently-held annual Solo Fest that featured South African songbird Zahara.

Tuku shared the secret behind the success of many of his products, saying discipline is the way to go.

“I don’t create talent. Talent is God-given and my duty is just to nurture them. I always tell them that discipline is the way to go. For Mbeu to get to the stage that I am, it has all to do with discipline and this is my message to them. I share with them my experiences in the music industry, what I faced, the good and the challenges and prepare them for this,”

There has been debate as to who among the next generation of musicians will be inheriting his throne.

Some circles believe Jah Prayzah is going to be the next Tuku, considering the strides he is making in the music industry.

“There will never be a second Mtukudzi,” he said.

He said he is unique and that can never be duplicated, urging other musicians to focus on building their careers.

“God does not duplicate talent. For someone to go further, they should focus and work on their talent to excel in their line of trade. If you work aiming to be the next Tuku, you will not go anywhere,” he said.

Tuku will be turning 66 next Saturday and his birthday is usually marked with a big show indicative of his name and stature in the industry.

Several high-profile gigs have been staged in celebration of his birthday. However, this year he says it will be a family affair.

“This year, I have decided to have something small, it will be more of a family affair. There will be nothing big. We decided to have the Solo Fest closer to the date so that we have time with everyone before the birthday,” he said.

Speaking on the current state of the music industry characterised by technological advancements that have seen the soaring of piracy, Tuku says he believes it is punishment from God.

He feels artistes these days are more concerned about monetary value ahead of the impact music has in people.

“I don’t blame technology, we are developing. Piracy is painful to an artiste because God did not give us these talents to struggle but I think we lost it somewhere along the way. I think piracy can be a punishment from God to us musicians.

“We are now more concerned about money or gate takings ahead of the real value of music. We have forgotten the impact of a song in one’s life ahead of returns. God gave us the talents and not to profiteer and at times the biggest return is the appreciation by the listener.

“A song can impact one’s life differently and this should be respected. Music touches the hearts of many, gives life and hope to the people, heals broken hearts but now we are concerned about profits and the real purpose of a song is lost and this may anger God,” he said.

Tuku has joined the fight against cholera and he said people should observe basic hygiene practices at the festival.

There have been videos circulating on social media, with the superstar calling on people to observe hand-washing with soap or ash. He has also urged people to wash fruits before consumption.

“Cholera is real and no one is immune to the disease and it can attack anyone at any time. People should not relax or feel safe by just hearing that it is in such a place.

“Cholera is spread by people, meaning it can get to any place at any time. This has led me to this campaign, calling on people to be hygienic. It starts with you. If you are clean, it means cholera will not be with you and you cannot pass it to the next person,” he said.

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