It seems Oliver Mtukudzi’s former publicist, Shepherd Mutamba, is nothing but a man desperate to regain the little fame that was rubbed on to him through his association with his former boss.
Sunday Opinion by Chipo Masara
Mutamba last week launched his book, titled Tuku Backstage, in which he concentrates mostly on exposing to the world Tuku’s shortcomings.
He claims he had no intention to be malicious, but to expose to the world the double standards that his former boss lived by. What a load of nonsense! Whether it was his intention or not, dedicating time to putting together such a soiling piece of literature regarding someone that once held him in the highest confidence, was highly malicious and a great betrayal. That makes Mutamba a backstabber.
So what if Tuku is not perfect? Who is? Who among us can ever claim to be perfect in every facet of our lives? Has Tuku ever gone around claiming to be some moralist?
If prophets, the so-called “men-of-God” can err, why would we expect Tuku — a mere mortal — not to?
We often make the mistake of expecting way too much from our artists and in the process forget that they are, after all, only talented human beings, not some gods. Don’t they say to err is human…?
I have personally never viewed Oliver Mtukudzi as a god, or even a demi-god. To me, he has just been the best Zimbabwean musician of all time. With 56 great albums to his name, he is a musician whose great work has entertained me all my life, and for that I love the man. He has indeed been good at his job, which explains why his name has spread all over the world. No amount of bad publicity can ever take that away from him.
True, Tuku may be in bad books with his daughter Selmor; only he and his daughter know the true story behind the misunderstanding.
But, it is nothing out of this world; parents fall out with their children all the time. Tuku may indeed also have met challenges in paying his band members once in a while, among other things, but so what? What we need to ask is, has he really been so bad a person as to necessitate this betrayal from a man he entrusted with his personal affairs? Surely, there is great injustice in this.
Mutamba has taken advantage of his association with Tuku and his family. They let him in and he repaid them with unkindness. I am sure Mutamba himself has experienced his own family problems, just like everyone does — problems he would not appreciate his close friends and relatives making public.
But then, I guess this was a lifetime opportunity that Mutamba just could not miss, one his welfare may have depended on. He was desperate to revive his waning career. If it wasn’t for the Tuku book, the memory of him as a journalist may as well have been thrown in the dustbin of history.
Judging from the price his book is selling for, Mutamba is also very much out to make some money from this project. A single copy is going for $25, which is exorbitant in Zimbabwe’s ailing economy.
While I understand the need for the man to somehow resurrect his career and make a living in this dog-eat-dog economy, it is very unfortunate that he chose to target the one man that generously gave him some relevance.