By Walter Mswazie
Eight South Africa-based Zimbabwean artistes have penned a tribute song to the late national hero and global music icon, Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi and called on Picky Kasamba, a former Black Spirits member, to take over his band.
Mtukudzi died last Wednesday at Avenues Clinic in Harare after battling diabetes for a long period and was declared a national hero by President Mnangagwa.
He was 66.
Picky was the longest serving member of Tuku’s The Black Spirits when he called it a day in 2008 after 25 years in the music industry.
Picky who spent 20 years playing with Tuku said at that time that he was leaving to concentrate on his business in Bindura on a full time basis.
Blessing Gwara, the leader of the group, said if she had her way, Picky should come back and lead the group.
“We do not want the band to die and if things could be done my way, the leadership at the ensemble should call back Picky Kasamba. He has the same qualities with our late icon and he has the pedigree to carry on with the assistance of the wife Daisy Mtukudzi,” she said.
She thanked Tuku for inspiring many people to pursue music and appealed to surviving members of The Black Spirits to keep “the fire burning”.
“We could have come and paid our tribute but failed. While his songs will survive the test of time, we appeal to many generations to come and to those remaining Black Spirits members to continue,” she said.
The song, Tinochema, is a dedication to the late music hero’s life and is sung in both ChiShona and isiNdebele with a jazz flavour, akin to Samanyanga’s beat.
Other members of the project are Lindi Marc, Ephraim Dube, Solomon Simbi, Letty Chawira. Denford Gambiza and Jonathan Mugazi, the producer.
Gwara said they united as singers based across Limpopo to show solidarity with the Mtukudzi family and the rest of the world through the song.
“We decided to pay our last respects through composing a song using his beat. This is how we thought of paying our tribute to the great man in our industry. Tuku was a larger than life character whose music brought together all and sundry,” said Gwara.
Tuku was buried at his rural home in Madziwa, Mashonaland Central on Sunday.
Hordes of people from all walks of life thronged the homestead with international personalities in both showbiz and political spheres sending condolence messages. The Chronicle