Tuku made me fall in love with the sounds of Zimbabwe

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Oliver ‘Tuku’ Mtukudzi.
Oliver ‘Tuku’ Mtukudzi.

We will tell our children about your soft approach to how the regime made your people pariahs in their own country, writes Luthando Vikilahle.

There are very few who played a guitar like Tuku did.

He made it look easy and even though you could not understand a single word of his lyrics, you were forced to dance by the beautiful sounds that flowed from his strings.

He made me fall in love with the sounds of Zimbabwe.

The likes of Thomas Mapfumo are legends but I listened to him after a surprise encounter with this guitarist.

If it were not for him, I would not have appreciated the history and powerful sounds of that country.

I remember the very first song I was introduced to was "Neria" and then later I came across a collection of his songs from people of Zimbabwean descent who are scattered in the diaspora because of the ills of those in power.

Some appreciated Tuku as much as I did but some of the older, militant generation loved Thomas Mapfumo as he brought back fond memories of home.

READ: Tributes continue to pour in for Zim music star Oliver Mtukudzi

I learned who this legend was and began to take a keen interest in the politics of Zimbabwe.

I became a reporter in my later years and was fortunate enough to have worked as a scribe on issues that were mainly about Zimbabwe.

On January 23, just a few days before I celebrate my birthday the sad news came about his passing.

At first, I was numb and sent a text message to a fellow journalist and close friend to the legend to find out if the news was true and to my shocking dismay indeed, the pioneer, the giver and lover of progress had departed.

The world is indeed going to be poorer without your voice and those well thought-out Tuku sounds.

We will tell our children about your soft approach to how the regime made your people pariahs in their own country.

We will remember how you brought smiles on the faces of those you met.

May you rest in eternal power, son of the soil.


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