An upcoming book revealing sensational secrets of Zimbabwe’s international music legend Oliver Mtukudzi sheds light on the musician’s strained relationship with his daughter, Selmor, also a singer.
Titled Tuku Backstage and set to be published before the end of the year, the book was written by Tuku’s former publicist and journalist, Shepherd Mutamba.
Extracts from a chapter “Daughters” exclusively made available to The Standard reveal how the relationship between Tuku and his daughters, Selmor and Sandra, from his first marriage to Melody Murape, had collapsed irretrievably after Selmor (31) made sensational accusations in the media, in 2012, that the superstar was a neglectful father. She said if Tuku was supportive, she would have been somewhere in life.
We publish the extracts below where Selmor’s comments provoked Tuku’s wrath in the explosive book:
Selmor’s remarks devastated Tuku, he did not see the comments coming. He never envisaged his daughter sharing, with the whole world, her opinion of him.
I met many people who, after reading Selmor’s story, thought Tuku was just a pretentious father who does not apply the same family values that he espouses in most of his own music. Others viewed him as a greedy and despicable father deserving public humiliation and posted comments on social networks supporting Selmor.
Others who actually deify Tuku did not know what to say about the man.
After his daughter’s remarks, were splashed in the media, Tuku stopped eating well, for several days, sometimes skipping breakfast and lunch altogether and surviving only on one meal a day — supper.
His health took a serious battering but he forced himself to work and fulfill prior bookings for shows.
Tuku has a history of intestinal ulcers, that relapsed with serious intensity, most likely triggered by worry and the eating disorder.
At breakfast, in Nyanga, (for a show) Tuku did not finish just a single egg and settled for a tiny glass of fruit juice after Daisy (Tuku’s wife) insisted that he took something at least.
That drink was all he had and nothing at lunch. His diabetic condition deteriorated.
His state of health required hospital admission and weeks of rest from work to recuperate. His body was frail, his face evidently emaciated. He became skeletal like the Auschwitz survivors. Everyone seemed to annoy him. The relationship with his daughter had collapsed.
Below Tuku comments publicly, for the first time, in the book, on the state of relationship with his daughters, particularly Selmor:
“I have disowned her (Selmor) because she is not my daughter. If she was my daughter she would not say such bad things about me. None of what she says is true. And what makes her say those things now? If she had issues with me she must have talked to me as family and not having to go to the press. I think she hates me so badly she wishes that I die.
“I am hurt to the core of my heart. I did my part as a parent and sent her to school and supported her musical career, even playing with her in my own band and taking her on tour overseas, not because she was good but I wanted to promote her career and inviting her to many of my events to enable her to work and earn a living.”
Tuku Backstage also reveals the failed relationship between Tuku and his first born daughter, Sandra (35), who does not have very kind words, in the book, for the music icon who turns 62 next week and set to release his 63rd album soon.