Farewell “Tuku” a friend, a legend
Humana People to People has lost a friend in the untimely death of Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi on 23 January 2019 due to a complication with diabetes. He will remain known as a humble musician who curved his music career to become an international artist who used his influence to sing about HIV and AIDS, gender equality and child rights.
“Tuku” was considered to have been Zimbabwe's most renowned and internationally recognised cultural icon of all time. His singing spanned across 41 years making him a legendary musician whose illustrious career saw him produce 66 albums.
Humana People to People has for some years built a cordial and friendly relationship with “Tuku” which saw him agreeing to accept an invitation to provide entertainment to a multitude of ordinary villagers during an Open Sunday in 2004 at Murgwi in Shamva, Mashonaland Central province in Zimbabwe.
He went on to play at several other occasions as a solo artist and; with Sam and Selmor. He came naturally to accept Murgwi as his “home-away-from-home” as he felt comfortable to associate easily with the audience. We will forever remember and cherish in our hearts his joint performance he gave Humana People to People during the festive breaks of December a couple of years back. What comes dearly to our hearts is his performance with Sam Mtukudzi at the Murgwi a performance which still lingers in our hearts until now.
Popular songs he made include Neria – a counseling song to a widow, Todii – an HIV and AIDS awareness raising song. Todii brought lime light to the epidemic at the time when HIV and AIDS was decimating lives in Zimbabwe and Southern Africa in general.
What made his songs unique was the way he aligned the messages to key issues. He became more vocal on HIV and AIDS matters such that his song Holidays had its proceeds from its sale donated to the non-profit donor organization The Global Fund to Fight HIV and AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
Tuku’s resilience to stand resolute in following his music passion rewarded him with many accolades and a UNICEF East and Southern Africa ambassadorial role.