Dr Oliver Mtukudzi – a superstar with a loaded past


Zimbabwean – and African music is incomplete without Dr Oliver Mtukudzi, a perfected musician, businessperson, philanthropist, human rights champion and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for southern Africa region. 
 
And here are some facts on Dr Mtukudzi:  

      His only son and heir, Sam died in a car accident in March 2010 
      The death of Sam somehow initiated the album Sarawoga (left alone) in 2012
      He is Harare’s most renowned and globally recognised cultural icon
      His first boyhood band was Wagon Wheels, featuring Thomas Mapfumo
      Mtukudzi also contributes to southern Africa ensemble, Mahube
      His totem elephant (Nzou) also features prominently in his renditions
      The icon is an active HIV/AIDS awareness campaigner
      His brother Robert, a former band member died of HIV/AIDS
      His initial album was in 1978 (Ndipeiwo Zano), redone in 2000
      The 1980 project called Africa, coincided with Zimbabwe’s liberation
      In 1979 and between 1981-83, he released two albums each year
      His 15th (Nyanga Yenzou), 16th (Strange, Isn’t it?) and 17th (Sugar Pie) albums were all recorded in one year – 1988
      More than 10 of his albums have an English title
      Nine of his albums were produced in three years only – 1988, 90 and 92
      To date, he has released 55 albums in a career spanning nearly four decades
      Zimbabwe’s best selling artist between 1985-1988
      He has a total of four honorary degrees, two of them are doctorates
      His 2011 Cavaliere of the Order of Merit Award by Italy is equivalent to the Knighthood in England
      Pakare Paye, his arts centre is a yearning for the old days
      Dr Mtukudzi has collaborated with various Zimbabwe upcoming musicians
      A 2015 book (Tuku Backstage) by his former publicist has stirred controversy

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