March 25, 2019
Life & Style

Tuku’s first wife Melody Murape speaks out

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NATIONAL hero Oliver ‘Tuku’ Mtukudzi’s first wife Melody Murape has come out of the closet and said they were deeply in love with her husband until he came up with a suggestion to have a second wife.

She said when she packed her bags to leave the house in Eastlea, Tuku locked the doors for a week to keep her from leaving but it failed to work.

She packed her bags and left.

On daughter Selmor and Tuku she said they had their differences but were solved ‘a few days ago’ when Tuku said he had a song he wanted them to record and release.

The late Tuku and Melody at their white wedding in the 1970s

That was not to happen as Tuku succumbed to diabetes on Wednesday at the Avenues Clinic in Harare.

Oliver Mtukudzi was born on 22 September 1952 in the Highfields Community in the then Salisbury, Rhodesia now Zimbabwe.

Melody Murape

He started his music career in 1977, playing in the Wagon Wheels band alongside Thomas Mapfumo and James Chimombe.

Dzandimomotera was his first hit song.

In 1978, Mtukudzi defected from the Paul Mukondo promoted Wagon Wheels band and formed the Black Spirits band, releasing a hit song “Ndipeiwo zano”.

His main rival was Thomas Tafirenyika Mapfumo, another korekore man born in Marondera to Guruve parents in July 1945.

The young Mtukudzi grew up as a ghetto boy in the poverty stricken African township where his father worked but would frequently visit their rural home where he was exposed to katekwe music and dances.

This gave his music a rich English and a deep African flavor.


Originally Oliver Mtukudzi comes from Mupfurudzi village under Chief Mutumba in the va- “korekore” domain in Mashonaland Central Province. The village is located between Bindura and Mt Darwin growth points.

Chimurenga music icon Thomas Mapfumo had been born to extremely poor parents Janet Chinhamo and Tapfumaneyi Mupariwa of the Munhumumwe family and he persuaded Oliver Mtukudzi to sing in Shona apart from helping him set up the Black Spirits before he configured his own band, the Blacks Unlimited.

Oliver Mtukudzi, who died on January 23 at the age of 66, was a great cultural ambassador for Zimbabwe. Known to his fans as Tuku, he was a cultural icon for the southern African country. His aura and presence had a global resonance with fans around the world, yet the man remained humble and magnanimous.

He was also a businessperson, activist, philanthropist and a goodwill ambassador for Unicef in the southern African region. But it was his innovative music that made him deeply loved.

Dubbed “Tuku music”, it was a blend of southern African music traditions, including mbira, mbaqanga, jit and the traditional drumming styles of the Korekore.

The Tuku burial is set for Madziva, Bindura tomorrow at 2pm.

Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Music Promoters presents a Dr Oliver Mtukudzi Send Off gig in Harare. Find the details below:

Date: Saturday 26 January 2019
Time: 9am till 6pm
Venue: National Sports Stadium

  • Featuring:
  • Thomas Mapfumo 
  • Jah Prayzah
  • Sulumani Chimbetu
  • Alick Macheso
  • Seh Calaz
  • KillerT
  • Freeman
  • Enzo Ishall 
  • Exq
  • Garry Tight
  • Tocky vibes
  • Peter Moyo 
  • Baba Harare 
  • The Charambas
  • Nicholas Zacharia
  • Diana Samkange 
  • Hope Masike
  • Edith Weutonga
  • Fungisai Mashavave
  • Any muridzo
  • Freeman
  • Sniper
  • Mbeu

Admission Free Free Free !!!
Come all in your numbers and bid Farewell to the National Hero, Icon TUKU 


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