Harare --- Zimbabwe’s superstar Oliver Mtukudzi has added another feather to his cap after he was given Oppikoppi Music Festival Heavyweight Legend Award in South Africa last week.
The “Todii” singer joins fellow musical legends Vusi Mahlasela, the late Hugh “Bra Hugh” Masekela and Mafikizolo who have been honoured in the past.
For Mtukudzi, this was history in the making as he was the first non-South African to be acknowledged at the festival which has been awarding honourees of South African music since 2010.
Music critic Ano Shumba took to Facebook and congratulated Mtukudzi for winning the award.
“Congratulations to my newly found friend Oliver Mtukudzi on winning the Oppikoppi Music Festival Heavyweight Legend Award in South Africa yesterday!” he wrote.
Hopewell Chin’ono, a Zimbabwean journalist, also congratulated Mtukudzi via Twitter for his success.
“Congratulations to Oliver Mtukudzi for winning the Oppikopi Music Festival Heavyweight Legend Award. Be careful Nzou with that top you are wearing,” he wrote.
Now in its soon to be late 20s Oppikoppi has been making some changes which would explain their decision to break the mould.
In a statement, the organisers described Mtukudzi as a deserving stalwart of African music:
“Oliver Mtukudzi merits double helpings of love, thank you’s and legendary status belt-driven accolades.
“This year’s OppiKoppi tribute artist started performing in Zimbabwe in 1977. That’s 41 years of Tuku Tunes.
“His husky voice has become the most recognised to emerge from Zim and onto the international scene and he has earned a devoted following across Africa and beyond.”
It remains to be seen whether or not the festival will continue to honour African or International Artist going forward; one thing is for sure; Mtukudzi has certainly earned this!
Today, Mtukudzi prides himself in having over 60 albums and over four decades of great music.
Mtukudzi’s latest album Hany’ga his 66th studio recording and is as good as it gets.
Hany’ga which Mtukudzi says translate to ‘concern’ is political as much as it is social commentary.
But like most of Mtukudzi’s albums, his messages on Hany’ga are subtle, deep and don’t carry explicit political messages, but he makes it easy to read between the lines.
Mtukudzi’s quest to stay above politics has always made him a darling across age groups, race and social divide because he wants to remain an artiste.
And those that he criticizes will love Mtukudzi for that and they do so without feeling indifferently.
He talks about self-respect when he sings “Kuremekedzwa kunobva mumatauriro ako”, he talks about hindsight or lack of it thereof on “kunotanga danga chiwepu chotevera” as well as living in harmony when he sings “hazvine bopoto mapfihwa ane basa pachoto”.
Hany’ga was officially released on iTunes and YouTube on December 29, 2017.
There is something for everyone and if you love to dance you will have a dance and if you’re the laidback type you will surely stop and listen to the tracks.
But a casual listen to the tracks will show you that Mtukudzi does not change for the sake of change. Neither does he seek to please anyone other than himself.
“I only do me,” Mtukudzi once said.
Hany’ga has performed better than his 65th album --- Eheka Nhai Yahwe! ---- released in 2016.