Maseru – The works of the greats are immortal. And as Saint Basil once said, “A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds.”
These truths apply to the late Oliver Mtukudzi, the great Zimbabwean musician whose works will be feted this weekend at Joburg Theatre in South Africa in a show dubbed “Remembering Tuku” and themed along the lines of Africa Month Celebrations.
Directed by long-time friend Steve Dyer, the show will feature two of Tuku’s daughters, Selmor and Sandra. Along with Dyer, they will share the stage with Vusi Mahlasela, Madosini, Ami Faku on May 29 and 30.
“In the cycle of life, it is good that Tuku’s daughters Selmor, Sandra and Samantha are carrying on a tradition initiated by their father,” Dyer told The Southern Times Arts this week. “It is a way to reach beyond the confines of time.”
Selmor has taken over the Tuku brand and she launched her first album after her father’s death last year, and Dyer says it would be a disservice to compare her to her father.
“Comparisons should not be what music is about. What I like is that even though the music that his daughters are playing references Tuku’s music they are also developing their own voices. Music for me is about exploring the best in human intention, achievement and love. Selmor’s album was followed unfortunately, by a lockdown that impacted on playing the music live. But the music will endure and it doesn’t have an expiry date.”
Dyer also mused about what Tuku would have made of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Perhaps Tuku would be questioning how COVID-19 came to be, but also with a message that we have the strength to deal with it. I hope the show can be a strong remembrance of Tuku the African cultural ambassador, the great songwriter and performer, and the man who is loved by many whose message and sound resonates across man made borders,” Dyer said.