WHEN a rejuvenated Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi released the album Tuku Music in 1999, his legion of followers all over the world responded with rapture.
By Moses Mugugunyeki
That was the album that re-introduced Tuku, whose career had taken a dip in the late 1980s and early 1990s. What followed were a number of albums, accolades and top-drawer live performances across the globe.
Many of the songs he recorded in the 1970s and post-independence era were redone and remain sweet music to the ear.
His live shows are second to none, he does everything to move you and makes you stand on your feet and sing along.
Such was the case on Friday when the legend took to the stage at the Borrowdale Country Manor in Borrowdale Brooke where he belted out songs from his latest album Eheka! Nhai Yahwe and a number of yesteryear hits at the gig dubbed Tuku’s 65th Album Launch Concert.
It was a memorable show that was spiced up by Tuku’s wife Daisy, who joined her husband on stage midway through the show, amid wild cheers and performed the song Haasi Masanga, which is from the latest album.
Modestly dressed in white, like any other member of the Blacks Unlimited, Daisy did not look like someone who was making a belated entrance on the music arena as she tailored perfectly in the Katekwe rhythms.
For Tuku, his stage expertise was out of this world and he knows how to entertain people. The Superstar, as he is affectionately known, gave a vintage act, starting with a number of songs from his latest offering.
He introduced himself to the crowd with Chori Nevamwe and what followed was hit after hit, including Bhiza RaMambo, Ndinecha, Hadzivake and Haasi Masanga which featured Daisy — all from his latest album.
The legendary singer went a gear up when he took fans down memory lane and belted out hits such as Madiro, Rironge and Handiro Dambudziko, among others before he wrapped up the show with Ndima Ndapedza. Fans enjoyed every moment of it as they danced and sang along.
Even Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere, who was among top government officials who attended the show, had no choice other than taking to the dance floor. Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri was also in attendance.
Supporting acts were led by Afro-jazz sensation Tariro Negitare who did not disappoint as she gave a scintillating performance, belting out tracks like Zuva neZuva, Uripi and the crowd’s favourite Ndisiye Ndakadaro. She also sampled a few songs from her forthcoming album Chipo Changu and played her latest single Mambokadzi.
Next was Jah Prayzah who gave a brief, but spirited performance. The Mdhara Vachauya singer left the stage when fans wanted more of him. However, the absence of dancer and backing vocalist Fatima “Stimela” Katiji could be felt as the only female band member Excavator is yet to fit in the system.
Contemporary singer Sam Dondo and his Impala Subway Crooners had their time on stage and the young chanter was a marvel to watch. He performed songs from his first album Dyara Minamato and also did a few tracks from his forthcoming project.
Show organiser Thompson Dondo of D & G Events said it was a great show meant to celebrate the life of the Superstar.
“It was a good turn-out, considering that we are hosting such a big gig in this part of Harare. All who performed did their best and I am happy we have celebrated the life of the music icon in style,” he said.