Tuku send-off concert today

HARARE - All roads will lead to National Sports Stadium in the capital today for the late superstar Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi’s send-off concert.

The concert, organised by local music promoters, will kick off at 9am and will run until 6pm.

One of the organisers, Josh Hozheri of Jazz 105 Promotions, said the event will feature virtually every musician and it is for free.

“Confirmed musicians include Thomas Mapfumo, Alick Macheso, Jah Prayzah and Suluman Chimbetu among others.

“Tuku Send-off Concert is a non-commercial gig. It was organised to give our musical hero a befitting send-off hence fans should come for free. They should come with their own drinks in cooler-boxes,” said Hozheri.

Some of the notable music promoters behind the gig include Simmad Entertainment, Red Rose Entertainment, Jazz 105 Promotions, Chipaz Promotions, Bodyslam and 2 Kings Entertainment among others.

Zimbabwe was thrown into mourning on Wednesday when the legendary Mtukudzi died at the Avenues Clinic at the age of 66.

On Thursday, Mtukudzi was declared a national hero by the Emmerson Mnangagwa-led government — becoming the first-ever musician to be given such an honour.

“Arts minister) Kirsty (Coventry) came with the proposal and I said let’s consult with colleagues in Zanu PF and government and everyone agreed unanimously without any pocket of resistance whatsoever.

“We wanted to show the world that we loved Tuku the same way they loved him. As government, we have agreed to accord him national hero status,” Mnangagwa said to mourners after the declaration.

Meanwhile, Mtukudzi’s musical career can be traced back to late 1970s when he joined the Wagon Wheels, a band that also featured his old friend Thomas Mapfumo. 

During his time with the band Tuku was the lead voice on the track Nhamo Dzandimomotera which went gold.

Thereafter, he released hit after hit, endearing himself to the music lovers with his trademark cough and social commentary.

The exploits of Tuku propelled him to dizzy heights — making him arguably the country’s real international musician whose music is loved not only in Africa but across the globe.

He had collaborations with musicians from South Africa and the region and locally he nurtured talents with budding artistes some of whom have now become stars on their own.

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