HomeStandard PeopleSelmor, Tendai: Match made in heaven

Selmor, Tendai: Match made in heaven

Afro-jazz songstress Selmor Mtukudzi has refuted rumours that she is at loggerheads with her iconic father Oliver Mtukudzi.

By Kennedy Nyavaya


In an interview with The Standard Style on Thursday, Selmor said she takes pride in being Tuku’s daughter.
“I do not have a problem with that,” she said.

“My father is my father and I am proud to be his daughter and to be carrying his name forward.”

Reports in the past painted a gloomy picture of a strained relationship between the two, although there was no substantive evidence as both remained coy on the issue.

Selmor, however, conceded that her career was not all rosy as a result of the legendary shadow the Tuku legacy commands.

“While people may think it is an advantage to be [Oliver] Mtukudzi’s daughter, it is actually a disadvantage because everywhere you go, we are compared,” she said.

“Fans cannot appreciate who I am as just me, but I have this thing upon me that will have them say, but your dad is better.”

Her husband, also the son of yesteryear superstar Zexie Manatsa, Tendai, who is popularly known for his guitar strumming prowess and constructive lyricism, concurred saying:

“[Oliver] Mtukudzi has a doctorate now and vast experience. You cannot compare a doctor to someone with 16 years in the industry, so it is a big disadvantage having famous parents, but we cannot run away from it.

“It is different actually from an artiste coming from nowhere because they will be given an ear, but with me, they will always compare me to my father.”

Meanwhile, the power couple who celebrated their ninth anniversary on Friday rekindled their romance on the music forefront by holding a joint album launch last week.

The albums titled, Bhomba, which was done by Tendai and Selmor’s I am Woman, were launched in the capital.

“We finished recording at the same time and I thought my album was better than hers, that is how it started and we said let us take it to the people and find out,” said Manatsa, who emphasised that theirs is a “healthy competition” and that he is not threatened by his wife at all.

Selmor on the other hand, said that they are still “split musically” but disclosed that they share notes and helped bring the best in each other’s work.

“We are still split musically, but we try and advise each other on some of our work that helps us in making the best we can,” she said.

Relationships between celebrities usually do not last long owing to egoistic pressure from both ends but the Manatsa couple attributed their prolonged affection to untainted friendship.

“We were friends before we were married and that is how we do not feel under pressure to compete. We actually complement each other,” said Tendai with his wife describing it as “the magic between us” and adding that the union is founded on a principle of trust.

According to the lovebirds, fame never got to their heads because even when they were growing up they were already known.

When on stage, the endowed parents of three divulged that they adopt alter egos which were divorced from parental roles.

“There are no limits to how we express ourselves as artists, which is why I still retain the name Selmor Mtukudzi, she is an artist and not a mother or wife at that moment but doing what she was born to do,” said Selmor.

“You know how people are with music they will always attack at the beginning, but eventually they will accept it so there is no limits because art is art, fatherhood is at home,” added Manatsa.

Like their parents, their children at tender ages of four, six and eight are showing interest in the arts and they will not be restrained.

The couple is currently making waves in and out of the country on tours at which they serenade different audiences with their Afro-jazz taste.

Selmor has been on top of her game of late, bagging the Hottest Female Single award at the Africa Entertainment award last year, among other successful feats.

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