By Sindiso Dube
It’s a year and three days after the world was robbed of a father and music icon in Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi and one of the pertinent questions that many of his fans would be asking is: Who will light the Tuku torch, who will keep his legacy alive?
When his late son, Sam, was still alive, talented as he was and jamming alongside his father, the nation and the continent at large had already mapped out an exit plan for Tuku. Everyone was convinced that Tuku’s name was safe in the hands of Sam. Alas death struck its ugly self upon the young talent, devastating the whole country which had pinned hopes on Sam. But the most shattered of all was the old man, Tuku.
Tuku was heartbroken all the way to his grave in Madziwa, Mashonaland Central, where he was laid to rest on January 27 last year. He was declared a national hero.
Selmor, the daughter to the superstar, has, however, done well to keep her family name on everyone’s lips, musically. Last year could have been Selmor’s toughest year, confronted by the pressure of keeping the legacy alive. On Thursday, a year after the death of her father, Selmor released a song accompanied by a video titled Mandidzimbira.
The sound, melody and the dance moves mirror Tuku and if he is watching from his new home he could be smiling and probably saying “chana changu ichi” (that’s my daughter) in his soft, but husky voice.
Continue to rest in power, Tuku!!
Meanwhile, joining the country and other musicians in celebrating the life of an icon is South Africa-based Bekezela, born Bothwell Nkomo.
Bekezela, who personally met Tuku once in Bulawayo in August 2018 before a show, which became Tuku’s last ever performance in the city, said he wished to do a collaboration with the superstar, a wish that was never fulfilled. However, he got more than a collaboration.
“Tuku has always been my hero and my inspiration. When I left Zimbabwe for Mzansi all I wanted was to be like Tuku. I was happy to share the stage with him in 2018 and that was the first time to meet him not knowing it was going to be the last,” Bekezela said.
“Like any other artiste, I wanted to collaborate with him and he had agreed to do so, but time didn’t permit us to do so.
“However, instead of doing a collaboration with Tuku I got a button, I got teachings. He shared his knowledge and his wisdom with me,” said Bekezela in the middle of a performance at Bulawayo’s Art Gallery, recently.
Bekezela added that he had dreams of Tuku days after his death.
“When he died I was in South Africa and I was invited by eNCA to do a tribute for Tuku live on television,” he said.
“When I was preparing to do so, I told myself I should play Neria, but I was failing to grasp the keys and I was worried about my interview with eNCA.
“I slept and in my sleep Tuku came into my dreams. He played Neria on stage, when I woke up I played like he did in my sleep and then went on to do so in my interview.
“That confirmed that I am in the right path, musically. I appreciate Tuku and his music, he is the biggest to ever do it in Zimbabwe and I want to be the next Tuku. I want to do bigger than what I have done so far.”
Bekezela, who is known for his runaway hit track Bekezela, has received the prestigious South African Music Awards and Bulawayo Arts Awards and the Skyz Metro FM Music awards.