Nation unites in mourning Tuku

By Tawanda Musariri

The passing away of music legend, Oliver Mtukudzi has sent social media pages into overdrive with eminent persons expressing their love for the man both in his life days and in death.

Mtukudzi, 66, died yesterday morning following a two decade gruelling battle with diabetes. Despite putting a brave face, the music maestro soldiered on, sticking to a strict medical advice timetable that saw him always donning a sling over purse that the rumour mill said was his ‘pharmacy’.

The humble Zimbabwean international was ambassador for various organisations during his four decade career that left 66 music albums. Below are some twitter condolence messages from his cross-sectional legion of fans and admirers.

“Today we said goodbye to a true patriot. Oliver Mtukudzi, your voice has given us comfort during difficult times, and will remain with us for posterity. Rest in peace comrade,” President of Zimbabwe, Emmerson Mnangagwa said.

“Gvt conveys its heartfelt condolences to the Mtukudzi Family on the sad passing on of Oliver "Tuku" Mtukudzi today at Avenues Clinic. Zimbabwe music is poorer without our music legend. MHDSRIEP,” Ministry of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services, Zimbabwe.

“A dark cloud hovers above Zimbabwe. Tarasikirwa negamba redu. RIP Oliver Mtukudzi. Fambai zvakanaka Samanyanga Mhukahuru. Penyu makatoita. Waenda sahwira wangu. Famba zvakanaka,” Thomas Mapfumo.

“NDIMA NDAPEDZA (asakura akapedza ndima yake). There you have it. #MyTop10TukuSongs. It's been a great five hours remembering and celebrating the life of a true national hero, an African icon and a global star who spoke a universal language! #RIPSamanyanga,” Professor Jonathan Moyo.

“To me a father and counselor. To the nation, an advisor and ambassador to generations. To the world, a peace icon, a bundle of talent, calabash of wisdom. You gave your all to us all. You consoled, counseled and entertained Zimbabwe and beyond. You will be sorely missed Samanyanga,” Nelson Chamisa

“I have it on good authority that Dr. Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi is no more. We’ve lost an icon & my heartfelt condolences to Daisy & family. I’m writing to the President to apply for National Hero status for his national contribution to the music, arts & culture industry. MHDSRIEP,” Honorable Themba Mliswa.

“You may have gone but your light will shine forever. Goodbye my friend. #RIPOliverMtukudzi,” Honorable Kirsty Coventry.

"He has rested. He had been in and out of the hospital since last year when he developed a heart problem," a friend confirmed to CNN

Nedzinoparadza dzaTuku Mutukudzi. Pasi hariguti hama! Had dinner with him at an ambassador’s house a few months ago. We had a one hour chat and as usual he sang Neria. He also explained his song “atakwira mukaranga”. Proud Korekore. Rest In Peace Oliver Mtukudzi,” Matigari (A prominent Twitter commentator).

Mtukudzi was a board member of the National Arts Council. During his lengthy career, he had duets with various artistes and ensembles, both local and international. Among them are Sulu, Garry Tight, Hugh Masekela, Mahube, Tocky Vibes, Fungisai, Ringo Madlingosi, Thomas Mapfumo, Winky D and ExQ among others.

Rest in Peace ambassador of peace.