Zimbabwe’s most popular musician, Oliver Mtukudzi, is to be honoured Friday at a major event in London, appropriately titled Hoza 2012 , a Tribute to the King of Music.
Affectionately known as Tuku to Zimbabweans, the music icon is being celebrated for his contribution to charitable and humanitarian causes, particularly his worldwide role as a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF.
Tuku has also received several awards in recognition of his services to the music industry and his dedication in helping the underprivileged and vulnerable.
Glorianne Francis, speaking for the promoters Base Africa, told SW Radio Africa that former boxing heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield will be on hand to honour Tuku.
“He is more interested in what Tuku does beside music because he himself is getting involved in a lot of charity programmes. He feels honoured to be meeting Tuku tonight,” Francis said.
She explained that they decided to honour Tuku this year because he is turning 60 years old and has produced about 60 albums. This is also the year the Olympic Games came to London, giving the affair a special meaning.
Joining the music legend on stage will be three well known Zimbabwean sirens; London bred Shingi Shonhiwa of the Pop group Noisettes and afro-jazz singers Busi Ncube and Prudence Katomeni-Mbofana.
Describing the venue Francis said: “I personally feel that Tuku deserves an iconic venue because he is an iconic artist and I think that’s the most amazing venue to pay tribute to him.”
Journalist Henry Makiwa said Tuku has always been known for his socially conscious lyrics, starting with the soundtrack to Neria which paid tribute to Zimbabwe’s widows.
“Tuku was also the first musician to deal with the taboo subject of AIDs at a time when no one wanted to speak about it, but people were dying,” Makiwa said.
Base Africa said they plan to continue the HOZA music series as an annual event, in order to showcase the music and culture of Southern Africa.
As Zimbabweans say, makorokoto mukoma Oliver Mtukudzi. SW Radio Africa