- Category: PA 2012
Award-winning Zimbabwean musician, Oliver Mtukudzi, has produced multiple albums since 1975. His music has evolved from the exclusive use of modern electrical instruments to African traditional instruments like the mbira and marimba, although his acoustic guitar still carries the ‘Tuku’ music trademark.
Mtukudzi’s music carries the overriding theme of self-discipline. He believes the power of art is the ability to communicate figuratively and still be understood universally. Because of his consistency in tackling socio-economic and political issues, Mtukudzi has endeared himself to Zimbabweans, who regard him not only as an entertainer, but mentor and role model.
With music and short films which combine story-telling, entertainment and education, Mtukudzi was among the first artists to make a public commitment to support initiatives to combat HIV and Aids. He has starred in two major Zimbabwean movies, Jit (1990) and the award-winning Neria (1991), which also explores issues around HIV and Aids. His latest filmNdichirimudiki (2008) can also be categorized as edu-tainment.
Among the numerous achievements Mtukudzi has received, is an honorary degree from the University of Zimbabwe in 2003. He was also titled Zimbabwe's first UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for Eastern and Southern Africa in 2011.
Mtukudzi founded and operates an arts academy near Harare, the Pakare Paye Arts Centre. Taking talented school leavers off the streets to be developed in music, drama, film, story-telling and poetry, the centre hosts a variety of events among major festivals.
In September 2012 at his 60th birthday celebration, Mtukudzi released his first studio album since the death of his son, titled Sarawoga, and a musical DVD,Nzou neMhuru. Given the prolific output by this Zimbabwean legend, this 61st album is certainly not his last.