At 66 with 67 albums, the late Mtukudzi who passed on yesterday, the same day that the late Hugh Masekela died last year.
It is interesting that the death of Mr. Mtukudzi has brought together seemingly political foes who belong to different political institutions yet in life he would not have managed to bring such diverse people in the same room.
It is the case that Advocate Chamisa and former Vice President Mujuru were together with Hon. Mliswa, who is the MP representing Norton, at the funeral.
Social media is busy and in death, Mr. Mtukudzi is trending but there is no doubt that the majority of the people who are sharing his life experiences did not know the man personally but his music and words remain the treasure that he has bequeathed to all of us.
Yet when all is told, no land given by any government of men could give him the character and personality that we choose to celebrate and salute in his absence.
Friends and enemies now gather in his name. What is bank? A bank is a store of value. Absent value, there can be no basis to celebrate one’s life.
Did Mtukudzi shine in a continent that is generally dark at night with a few shining stars showing the way? Indeed, he did.
What are the properties of a bank? Safety, integrity, honesty, visibility, and reliability. It cannot be disputed that Mkukudzi in life was a bank and he deposited a lot that will remain in our memories and in this digital age, this bank’s treasure will certainly be full for cashing out by anyone who cares to advance their careers using Mtukudzi as a standard.
How many people banked on Mtukudzi for advice, inspiration, and knowledge? BOAF’s establishment was informed by the absence of an organized platform where in life, people like Mtukudzi would share experiences, insights, ideas, and knowledge to provoke, inspire and ignite positive action.
The timing of Mtukudzi’s death is instructive in that during his last few days of life, the country is more divided that at any time since independence.
It could be the case that the doctors’ strike could have played a part in his death. He lives behind a nation that could have benefited from his songs that contain messages of love, peace, human dignity, humility and above all a spirit of forbearance.
In each generation, there are people who are ordinary and live life normally but the sum total of their experiences would produce extraordinary outcomes like the case with Mtukudzi.
Where is wisdom and understanding to be found? It is a pity that if one were to be asked to identify shining stars whose lives like points of light shine beyond their normal circumferences, it would be impossible to name a few like Mtukudzi whose voices crossed and continue to cross borders with ease and finesse.
The loss of Mtukudzi has left memories that know no borders. Zimbabwe is better for Mtukudzi having been one of its brand ambassador.
Ms. Debbie Peters had this to say: “The late Mtukudzi who I met a few times was approachable. It is a great loss to know that he is no more. His generosity of spirit will continue to inspire us. As a consummate networker myself, I can see why it is important to build networks from which we all can draw inspiration from the sto
ries of others. Tuku had a story to tell and this story is being told in his absence in so many ways.”
“I am encouraged that Mtukudzi is remembered in many languages and diverse voices. He was a bank that never discriminated among its constituents. His music was and remains inclusive. I will not be alone in celebrating him as BOAF in motion for his attitude to life that opened Zimbabwe as a product to the people of the World,” said Mr. Mawere, the Chairman of the 1873 FM radio www.the1873fm.com and the 1873 Network www.the1873network.org.
Former President Zuma had this to say on his Twitter thread
I am deeply saddened by the passing of the legend, Oliver Mtukudzi. His music has carried us through some of our darkest and happiest times, it has also united us across borders. I would like to extend my sincere condolences to his family and friends. Zorora murugare, dear Tuku. pic.twitter.com/gc4pwRQLzB
— Jacob G Zuma (@PresJGZuma) January 24, 2019
Indeed as Mtukudzi said: “The brotherhood of man transcends the sovereignty of nations and the limitations imposed by family ties. Friends can add value to one’s life than blood relatives.”
“Tuku what shall we do. We can choose to be bridge builders until Africa becomes border-less. In God, we trust and never give up until your last breath. In the final analysis, our real enemies are the people who are closest to us,” said Mr. Mawere.