By Oliver Mtukudzi
My 60th birthday gives me the idea that one must never take for granted each and every day of our lives because each morning is a gift of life that is not guaranteed.
Sixty years are a blessing because some of my peers were not so lucky. I am alive because I think God still has a purpose for me and whatever that purpose is I don’t know. Once our individual purposes are fulfilled, we meet the fullness of our time. And I don’t know what I have to fulfil because one will never know that.
When my son Sam died (March 2010), I want to believe that he had achieved what God had set out for him, young as he was (21). I don’t know what I have done for God to be so blessed with these 60 years and will continue serving the Lord and striving to be a better person before Him.
The purpose of music is to give life and hope to people. Music is a powerful prayer for me to touch the hearts of people. I will continue singing. I don’t feel any old at 60 years . . . I am energetic and strong and still feel like the same Oliver who was one year old once and is going to have many more years.
At 60 I still can do the things that I did when I was 40. Age is defined in time and wisdom . . . wisdom which must be shared among the people and time which we don’t have.
My fans keep me fit, focused and inspired because I have a purpose for them. I ensure I have a decent meal, sadza and the left leg of a chicken is my favourite meal. I walk for an hour with my wife Daisy sometimes for an hour and half daily. She is a huge source of strength and a pillar in my life and work. She makes me happy.
And the birthday is not a celebration of my life alone but it acknowledges many people too — my wife, parents (May Their Souls Rest In Peace), my grandchildren — who should be celebrating that they now have zisekuru chairo, friends, family, staff, fans . . . the list is endless. I love you all.
I am releasing my 61st album “Sarawoga” on my birthday and it wasn’t planned that the album coincides with my 60st birthday. I have three other albums ready and I still want to do another song. As long as mankind exists there is always something to talk about . . . and as long as there is something to talk about there is something to sing about.
And so I shall sing always. When my mother said my birth cry was my best ever composition it gives me the feeling that God created me to be an artiste and given the talent to make music.
Our young artistes must be appreciated more because the public attitude towards them is bad. I will continue working with the youngsters, nurturing their talent and mentoring them because they are the future. I am already committed to that cause at Pakare Paye Arts Centre.
It was always my dream as a young boy to serve in the humanitarian field of life and will endeavour to do even more philanthropic work by offering my assistance and service to the disadvantaged amongst us.
To the world leaders, stop wasting time fighting for personal enrichment and power and give more attention to the people and their needs, not certain classes but all people. If we do that we can make the world a better place.
To all the artistes who were there before me and set the pace and left a legacy for us, I salute you. The likes of Thomas Mapfumo, Zexie Manatsa, Tineyi Chikupo, Safirio Madzikatire and others who started before me, I salute them too because their work shaped my art in many ways.
We never competed but complemented.
And the urban groovers who are doing a great job, I salute you guys because makapenga. All the past and present members of the Black Spirits Band are part of my 60 years and I give praise to you.
Foreign friends with whom I have collaborated, I thank you for sharing memorable times and producing works that I treasure always.
And to my fans all over the world, the corporate sector that supports me, the media past and present publications from the 1970s such as Prize Magazine, Parade Magazine, record companies and radio stations I can never thank you enough.
God bless you.
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