Joburg Theatre hosts free public celebration of Oliver ‘Tuku’ Mtukudzi

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DURBAN, January 31 – The Joburg Theatre in Braamfontein will, on Tuesday February 5, host a memorial celebrating the music and life of Zimbabwean singer Oliver Mtukudzi, known as “Tuku”.

Celebrations will start at 12 noon, run to 5pm and are open to the public, said a statement released by the Mtukudzi family on Wednesday.

“[The focus will be on] Tuku’s music, with a musical programme directed by fellow traveller and compatriot Steve Dyer. This is a South African cry from the heart. A cry of sorrow and loss, a cry of remembrance, a cry of joy and love. Come share with us as we celebrate this son of Zimbabwe and child of Africa,” said the statement.

A recipient of numerous awards, 66-year-old Mtukudzi died last Wednesday.

He started his performance career in 1997 with the group Wagon Wheels, which also featured the Chimurenga great Thomas Mapfumo and legendary Zimbabwean guitarist James Chimombe.

The success of their single Dzandimomotera precipitated the release of Tuku’s successful debut album, Shoko. A collaborative soul, Mtukudzi was also an integral member of the original incarnation of southern African “supergroup” Mahube, which featured the likes of Louis Mhlanga, Steve Dyer, and the late Phinda Mtya.

In 2011 he released Abi’ angu (Duets of My Time) which featured, amongst others, Cesaria Evora, Ringo Madlingozi, Eric Wainaina and The Jaziel Brothers. In 2016, he did a duet Tapera with the late Hugh Masekela (No Borders).

According to the statement, there will be no parking available inside the theatre. Those attending are advised to make alternative parking arrangements. (ANA)