BY OUR STAFF
Speaker after speaker paid tribute to the legendary musician for his great contribution to the music industry and the country at large. This statement sounds familiar.
It has become common in discourse referring to graveside eulogies and rarely has it been used to describe an event to salute a living artiste.
It was a different case on Thursday evening when hundreds of people gathered at the Rainbow Towers to honour legendary musician Oliver Mtukudzi at a “Tribute Dinner”.
Mtukudzi’s manager who initiated the honourary event said the dinner sought to divert from the norm of celebrating our icons when they die.
He said the gathering was meant for people that appreciate Mtukudzi’s work and express their feelings in the musician’s presence as they would do at his grave.
Speakers indeed paid tribute to Mtukudzi. Standardlife&style goes through some of the statements made by various people that spoke at the event.
South African musician and guest of honour at the dinner
We share the same obsession of heritage restoration among the people of Africa. He is an epitome of love and what a community worker should be. The times I performed with him have been magical. My biggest wish is to be able to work with him until heritage restoration becomes a reality.
South African musician
I approached him in 1998 when I came with an idea of forming a group of African musicians called Mahube. When he came for recording with the group, I had nothing more than a small room and a bed to offer him. Despite his status, he was always the first person to get into the rehearsal room every day.
I listened to his songs before I got into serious music. I enjoyed his music and sometimes I remind him about his good old songs. We laugh about it many times. He has been a source of inspiration.
He is like a father to me. I pass through his house every time I go to Norton. He has taught me to be what I am today.
I first worked with him when we were shooting a film. I was very young then. I was playing a street kid and he was playing himself. We would go from one take to another. After each take I would look at Uncle Oliver with his guitar. He inspired me to work harder.
Mtukudzi’s former manager
Working with him was the most rewarding spell of my career. He met every challenge with courage. He was instrumental in making the dream of taking local music internationally a reality.
Culture Fund of Zimbabwe Trust director
I knew him when we were growing up in Mbare. We admired him as a musician. We are working with him in establishing a family foundation at Pakare Paye Arts Centre. He represents what successful people should do to give back to the community.
It is rare to find a musician who pushes you to do the best when you are working towards a gig. Every promoter wants to be associated with Tuku and I am honoured to work with him.
Besides being a musician he has contributed immensely to theatre. His latest musical Masanga Bodo shows his talent in theatre. He has assisted us in many ways.
Head of marketing FBC Bank
He is our Mastercard brand ambassador and we are proud about that. I grew up listening to his music and I am honoured to work with him today.