Tuku's national shrine snub blasted

HARARE - Internationally renowned stone sculptor and afro- music singer Bryn Taurai Mteki has blasted super star Oliver Mtukudzi’s family for refusing to bury the singer at the National Heroes Acre.

Mtukudzi died last Wednesday and was declared a National Hero which meant that he had the privileged of being buried at the national shrine.

But his family declined the offer extended by the government to have him buried at the National Heroes Acre; instead, Mtukudzi was buried at his rural home in Madziva on Sunday.  Mtukudzi’s family said his wish was to be buried among his ancestors.

Mteki said their fight as musicians to be accorded Hero status was deflated by the family’s refusal to have him buried at the national shrine.

“As a musician I was so angered by this decision and as a friend to
Mtukudzi I would have advised the family otherwise — I was away when this decision was made but when I heard about it I was hate.

“People should understand that no one is surely destined to be buried at the National Heroes Acre and no one would have guessed Tuku would be buried there, least himself and I wonder where the family got this from.

“That place; National Heroes Acre is a historic and sacred place. I feel pained that after all these years when we as artists were lobbying to have one of our own buried there — then the chance comes and we deny being buried there.”

Mteki said Tuku was in the forefront fighting so that musicians are also accorded hero status as he actually sang a song, Who is a Hero?

“In the song he questions why Safirio Madzikatire was not declared a national hero – he fought for singers’ recognition.”

Zimbabweans from all walks of life had also expected Tuku to be buried at the shrine and were geared to fill up that place to capacity and the crowds that attended his sent off at National Sports Stadium on Saturday showed he was a crowd puller.

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