Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Mtukudzi greatest Zim musician of all time

By Lance Guma

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Legendary singer Oliver Mtukudzi with 60 albums under his belt has been voted the greatest Zimbabwean musician of all time by an online poll of Nehanda Radio listeners and readers of the website.

Oliver Mtukudzi
Oliver Mtukudzi

Tuku as he is affectionately known pipped Leonard Dembo to the title by an 8 percent margin. Interestingly in our last poll Dembo’s song Chitekete was voted the greatest ever Zimbabwean song by our listeners and readers.

Out of 2578 people who voted, Mtukudzi received 875 votes (34%) while Dembo had 674 votes or 26 percent of the vote. In third place was Chimurenga music guru, Thomas Mapfumo who garnered 367 votes or 14 percent.

Alick Macheso a late bloomer on the music scene made a good case for himself by getting a creditable fourth place with 188 votes (7%). He just narrowly beat the late Simon Chimbetu who had 118 votes (5%).

Lovemore Majaivana came 6th with 103 votes (4%) despite retiring from the music industry. He is now based in the United States and has shunned various spirited calls for him to make a much sort after comeback.

The late James Chimombe 7th with 99 votes (4%) was neck and neck with the late Paul Matavire who came 8th with 80 votes (3%). The Bhundu Boys who took the world by storm in eighties came 9th with 47 votes (2%). Andy Brown who passed away in March last year, came 10th in the poll with 27 votes (1%).

Many readers and listeners complained about what they felt was our ‘unfair’ omission of Leonard Zhakata in the top 10 lined up for the online vote.


Oliver Mtukudzi




Leonard Dembo




Thomas Mapfumo




Alick Macheso




Simon Chimbetu




Lovemore Majaivana




James Chimombe




Paul Matavire




Bhundu Boys




Andy Brown




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  • Israel Chipere

    Dhara,nough Respect,,

  • Lindie Chigogora


  • Patapata

  • True

  • mapfumo is a living legend

  • Tin Mutero

    mkanya idhara mutukudzi ozoteera hasi

  • Leonard Dembo is.When Dembo was around Tuku was just another artist

  • Leonard Dembo is.When Dembo was around Tuku was just another artist

  • Anzou vahombe.Number for real.

  • Elias muchina

    Macheso ndo dhara..tuku i dharasa

  • Thats true

  • Eddie phiri

    Its fair to recognise the legends according to their contributions . But i feel bad to leave out somelike karikoga zhakata living giant s like chipanga and Jonah moyo to name the few left out …. For tuku my look a like ……… Its quite a good charter… Makorokoto samanyanga

  • Very tru!

  • Akim

    Leonard zhakata deserved a spot somewhere here.

  • tuku uyu wokuimba chimbambaira haaimwi

  • Alec


  • true,but mukanya idhara luk before 2000 ma harareans anoziva club hide out 99,7miles,mushandira hotel tozoti 5 mile murombedzi tuku aingori kukahotera kekuma avenue

  • If you ask Mutukudzi who the greatest Zim musician of all time is, he will tell you that it is Thomas Tafirenyika Mukanya Gandanga Mapfumo. Tuku once was Thomas’s protege.

    • tawanda mandebvu

      that was then now Tuku idhara of all. Mukanya anotodawo kuenda kushow ya Tuku.

  • DJ haisi mamuza here?

  • Patapata

  • only 2758 people voted and u come out wth tht?U should hve said according to yo Nehanda Radio people.Dembo naChimbetu ar late bt ar stil competing.

    • Monya

      Inga the story makes it clear ‘according to an online poll of Nehanda Radio listeners and readers” did you miss English lessons or something?

  • Benny Man

    Nehanda Radio why do you impose on us the pool of contestants to select from? I think the poll results are biased. There should have been an option to write the name of a musician who was not in your list. I have just checked the polls for the best DJ’s. I am wondering why the likes of Simon Pashoma Ncube, Tarisai Chipere, Tinashe Chikuse, DJ Scot, Bridget Gavanga and other fine DJs were not included.

    • Its not possible to conduct a poll and put one million people. Polls don’t work like that. It makes sense to select the best 10 and have people choose.

    • Bafunny Bafunny

      Benny Man, how can you seriously include people like Tarisai Chipere, Tinashe Chikuse, DJ Scot in this prestigious list, be serious. This is why the editors have to select a reasonable list and ask you to vote. As for Simon Pashoma Ncube, I thought I saw him on the list? uriku chemei? Bridget Gavanga is good but not enough to go into the ‘greatest’ DJ category.

    • tawanda mandebvu

      wamanikidzwa here benzi remunhu

  • mtc

    where is winky dee

  • @ Dapira- taura hako muzaya mamhuza chaiwo!

  • Dr Zvichaperachete

    The Conquering Lion of Zimbabwe ,Dr Thomas Mapfumo is Zimbabwe`s greatest/most successful Singer .Vese wnotozviziva including anaMtukudzi vacho!

  • Tuku4Life

    makorokoto kwatiri vedu adadisa vazvinzvaka!

  • sandiso moyo

    Tuku the best worldwide

  • Chabvonga

    Tuku is a great but has an advantage of having lived longer than Dembo otherwise they sang the same time and noone could ever match Dembo . Dembo music is even remembered to this day and he has the greatest song ever “Chitekete”. Tuku has got more fans over the long period of time but musically Dembo cann never be matched in Zimbabwe but however Tuku is still a Legend .


    l like this..

  • Samanyanga

  • mutongi gava

    Thanks Nehanda Radio for the poll but it would have been more fairer if you also included female artist like Stella Chiweshe, Busi Ncube, Chioniso Maraire for gender equality purposes…I believe female artists also have an indelible mark on the music arena in our country.

  • Paul Matavire was the best ever.Imagine hs disablities & most of the slangs were 4rm Paul Matavire

    • Anonymous

      true dat @lovemore mapepa

  • Vee

    Tuku indeed is a legend

  • mabhunu

    mukanya is the best not tuku

  • Gurundoro

    Thomas Mapfumo was conferred with a doctorate degree by a university in the States for his outstsanding contribution to music. It was after the UZ had conferred him with a masters degree in recognition of his contribution to music. Now can someone tell me what recognition Mutukudzi has received from such prestigious institutions to deserved the title of greatest Zim musician of all time? This whole thing by nehenda radio is all pish posh!

  • TK

    ita makorokoto kwatiri,Tuku # one

  • chakanaka

    @gurundoro i agree with you bro ,dr thomas mapfumo latest offering has not been played on radio since 1999 ,just like zanu pf nehanda wants to impose tuku upon us as the greatest musician of all time …thomas mapfumo is banned on radio but still commands a huge following unlike tuku who is overplayed like other zanu pf sympathisers .,mukanya was conferred with a honary masters degree from university of zim and another one from ohio state university in america ,before 1998 tuku was tantamount to hosiah chipanga ,pana mapfumo u can’t convince us even tuku himself will tell u kt mukanya idhara

  • Topsy

    Mukanya idhara but Tuku deserves a mention

  • takudzwa

    dai andy brown arimutop 5 amara aitoita a party for as a publicity stunt

  • Tony

    Shingisai Siluma also deserves a spot in the top 10!

  • mab

    cbimbetu all the way

  • Justice Chimurenga

    The Chimurenga King /Guru ,Dr Thomas Mapfumo is Zim`s undisputed number one Singer,Dr MAPFUMO is the Conquering Lion of Zimbabwe who happens to be the trendsetter who started the lucrative Foreign tours in the early 1980s.Dr Mapfumo was the 1st Zim Musician to have exclusive rights to his own music by producing it .Vanotozviva vese vanoTuku & Co kuti vana kuna Soko, Mukanya ,Mhukahuru,Murambatsvina!.

    • kekule

      wakuda kuto rigger mavotes saBOb haunyare, kana kurambira maresults sechematama