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DR Oliver Mtukudzi OBITUARY — A Man who Failed to Die

Dr Oliver ‘Tuku’ Mtukudzi passed away on the 23rd of January 2019 at Avenues Clinic in Harare Zimbabwe after succumbing to a long battle with diabetes.

Daisy, a woman blessed to have been his wife, survives him along with 5 children and 2 grandchildren.

Written by Byron Kabaira

Born 22 September 1952, Oliver Mtukudzi ‘elevates’ to his grave as a man with no fitting words to describe his greatness both as a person as well as a high flying superstar music artist.

His story dates back as far back as 1977 when he decided to wrestle the shackles of poverty through the pursuit of his calling – music.

The young ghetto boy hailing from Highfield had it rough just like any other young aspiring artist in Africa, especially at the time.

Music was heavily condemned as a career and his heart should have broken when his father broke the first guitar he made himself as an infant for the man dictated that Oliver had to settle for a white-collar job.

Oliver never gave up on his dream. He picked up the guitar again and, with war fit courage, set on a journey that leaves the world talking today.

Dr Mtukudzi established himself as one of the pioneering true internationally recognised music artists stemming from Zimbabwe. His edge was the undoubted prowess he possessed as an instrumentalist.

He knew how to drive his messages home even without saying a word. Many countries throughout the world know Zimbabwe through this man as his music transcended both physical and social scientific borders perching the national flag so up high it was difficult to ignore.

The more Oliver stepped to the mic the more he presented his different stripes.

He was a man blessed enough to earn titles such as mentor, philanthropist, entrepreneur, visionary, goodwill ambassador, and most interesting by unanimous opinion, Father.

Indeed Oliver fathered Zimbabwean pride through art. He fathered the Zimbabwean Ubuntu version of ‘everyone’s child’ as he figuratively adopted many children that he brought up with love and care.

It is resoundingly apparent that Oliver loved, cared for and nurtured a lot of people by the outpour of send off messages all over social media.

With 67 albums out of a 66 year long career it can not be argued that Oliver put his fans first and made sure they were never starved of his musical serenade.

While proving his hardworking ethic, this type of serving even reflected in his personality as Oliver always sought to serve others.

A selfless man. Selfless enough he took a selfie with the whole world.

Dr Oliver Mtukudzi lived a full life in music having won numerous accolades both at home and abroad becoming a beacon of musical ingenuity.

How could he not be so great when he made a song for every occasion. His music made many dance in jubilant times, it gave many hope in trial times, and most important he had a lesson for everyone.

Tuku’s musical genius lectured in all faculties of life from social, to financial, to religious, to political, and many other departments of life.

He was a guru! He touched multitudes of lives in an unforgettable way and that is why Oliver Mtukudzi does not die.

Oliver Mtukudzi cannot die. Oliver Mtukudzi will never die. In fact, as he rests his physical being his legacy quadruples in magnitude.

A great man lives humble and dies proud. A great man multiples in his death. A true inspiration.

As he rests we take time to reflect on all the literature he left us and as twisted life is, it all makes sense now. A philosopher par excellence.

There is no better send off as the national hero status bestowed on him by the President of Zimbabwe. He served Zimbabwe like a true father of the nation.

Rest well Dr. Tuku we shall continue to raise the flag high as you taught us.

Byron Kabaira is a business consultant and talent manager employing unorthodox visionary techniques to deliver added value to brands wishing to explore maximised monetisation. He is co-founder of Zimbabwe’s first online bookkeeping software for SMEs, Ziminvoice. Contach him on

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