Afrima's (All Africa Music Awards) international committee has expressed its sadness over the death of Zimbabwean musical legend, Dr Oliver 'Tuku' Mtukudzi. The celebrated singer, songwriter and guitarist passed away, aged 66, in Harare on 23 January 2019.
He had impacted the world with a legacy of great music spanning four decades and 67 music albums. Regarded as a cultural icon, who used his work to promote African arts and culture in Africa and in the diaspora, Dr Mtukudzi’s Afro-jazz compositions touched on socio-cultural issues.
Remembering a legend
In 2017 Mtukudzi was the recipient of the Afrima Legend Award, a category that recognises the influence and excellence of the continent’s music legends who contribute to the growth of African music and culture and use their craft to bring global renown to the continent. He was present on the live stage of the 2017 Afrima Main Awards held on Sunday, 10 November in Lagos, Nigeria. Besides receiving his 23.7-carat gold plated trophy for his recognition as an African music legend, Mtukudzi also performed his hit 1995 single, “Hear Me Lord” on the live stage of Afrima 2017.
In a condolence letter addressed to the government and people of Zimbabwe, Afrima president and executive producer Mike Dada described Mtukudzi’s passing as a huge loss to the music world. “His passing is a huge loss to the world of music and has left a vacuum. However, his standard of greatness and talent is one that we will hold in our hearts forever. Tuku led a life of virtue, using his music to show his concern for humanity. He was a preacher and a freedom-fighter, his music represented freedom and hope for us all. We will never forget his struggles which served as an inspiration to the arts, music and culture community in Africa and in the diaspora.”
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