Tuku makes history

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… superstar unanimously declared National Hero

LEISURE AND LIFESTYLE DESK

The late music superstar Dr Oliver ‘Tuku’ Mtukudzi has made 21st century history by becoming the first musician to be declared national hero after Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Thursday evening conferred national hero status to the internationally-acclaimed crooner, philanthropist and businessman. This comes in the wake of amplified calls from various sectors that Tuku be conferred national hero.

“The decision was one of the shortest ever made in the Politburo. As from this moment , the Government through the Ministry of Home Affairs will take over all arrangements and provisions for the late Mtukudzi’s funeral. The burial date will be set by the Mtukudzi family”, said Mnangagwa

Initially independent Norton MP Themba Mliswa, had earlier indicated that he had written to Mnangagwa to apply for the conferment of Tuku as a national hero.

“I wish to thank President ED Mnangagwa and ZANU PF politburo and (Sports and Recreation minister) Kirsty Coventry for their recommendations to accord Dr ‘Tuku’ national hero status. Whilst we all have our opinions of where Samanyanga’s final resting place should be, we must always remember to respect the family’s wishes”, Mliswa said in a tweet.

However, in a statement released Thursday afternoon, the Ministry of Youths, Sport, Arts and Recreation, said it is also advocating for a commemorative concert to be held in honour of Tuku.

Patson ‘Chipaz’ Chimbodza of Chipaz Promotion was also assigned to organise for the planned concert where a multiplicity of local artists are expected to showcase their artistic prowess.

“(The) Ministry is organizing a memorial music concert to celebrate the life of a legend and his achievements in music as well as bidding him an appropriate send-off. In that vein, corporate who benefitted immensely from Dr Mtukudzi’s works through advertisements, promotion and marketing activities, among other commissioned works, are encouraged to come on board and making arrangements for the concert and his burial,” said the Ministry in a statement.

Calls for the Neria hit-maker to be declared national hero trended on various social networking platforms immediately after it was announced that the award-winning musician had passed on at Avenues Clinic in the capital. The legendary musician- who is revered for having nurtured a number of local artists- is understood to have been plagued by a heart ailment and diabetes which reportedly resulted in him failing to hold live concerts for the past three months.