Well, before last night many of us knew the great Zimbabwean artiste Oliver Mtukudzi as one of Africa’s living music legends after selling thousands of copies of his over 60 albums for generations and travelling around the world to entertain massive crowds. But one thing I bet many people didn’t know about the 67-year old lanky musician is that he can dance and or boy indeed the old man can pull off some dope moves.
After his younger counterparts Afrie, Naava Grey, Pompi (Zambia) and Kanji Mbugwa(Kenya) in a completely different generation and also doing different styles of music had performed, the stage was set for the great man. Many comfortably settled in their seats for the roller-coaster session of what would eventually turn out to be one of the best this country has ever witnessed.
Dressed in a Black and White combination of rich West African fabric design Mtukudzi also known as ‘Tuku’ took to the stage with his traditional trade mark guitar firmed strapped around hi side and immediately embarked on a music journey where he belted out tunes from the familiar deep, gusty and strong voice punctuated by some energetic dance routines. He narrated meanings of his songs his stories is brief stop-overs but most of the stories in his music were told in his unique dance moves which had a combination of traditional dance strokes from his clan katekwe in Highfield from his native Zimbabwe to modern ‘African dabs’ and even break-dance.
With the crowd stunned by his energy and smooth moves, he broke the science by bellowing ‘Hello Kampala, we were missing you men…. I was born a long, long time ago’ to the chagrin and amusement of the guests who had cheered him on during the performance. They clapped and ululated after every dance move or whenever Tuku had completed a song. ‘Thank you’ he would appreciate.
His coordination with his band and backup singer had a powerful chemistry and their playful acts and gestures only made the evening even more entertaining and relaxing no wonder, when he performed ‘Neria’ which is also one of the crowd’s favourites, many fans could not stay on their feet as they danced and sang along.
‘Tuku Music’ as he has since branded his style of music, reflects on the daily life and struggles of the people of his homeland Zimbabwe and inspires many people across the world which is probably the main reason why Mavuno Church hired him to headline at last night’s edition of ‘The lock Down’ concert which was massively attended that, the hall at Imperial Royale was filled to capacity with revellers starting to stream in as early as 5pm.
His blending of Southern African music traditions, including Mbira, Mbaqanga, jit, and the traditional drumming styles of the Korekore, has created a unique Afro-Jazz sound that is now officially dubbed “Tuku music.”
“To create a timeless music content, you need to be yourself and stayas who you are in your style as well as be creative. For me, my music is simple and easy. I have never changed and I am proud of it”. Mtukudzi earlier told a congregation of content creators, artiste managers, DJ’s and promoters at the Y-Click ( A discussion about the entertainment industry) at Tirupatti Mazima Mall.
And it is this blend of music which he served last night. From the reaction of the crowd which included Finance Minister Matia Kasaijj, DP President Norbert Mao, Makerere University researcher and activist Dr Stella Nyanzi, Local celebrities and members of Mavuno church, one could tell he was well received and appreciated here in Uganda.
And what a way he concluded his performance by teasing the crowd that the show has ended and walking off before performing the most anticipated song ‘Todii. So when his drummer announced that it was a gift from his country by President Robert Mugabe to the people of Uganda, everyone was asked to move closer to the stage so that they could receive it in a more appropriate manner by dancing to it. And indeed the excited crowd duly obliged and moved closer with beaming smiles as they danced, sang and recorded the moment before the show closed at about half past eleven.
The concert was organised by Mavuno Church Kampala in support of SMS ONE (U) Ltd, Jazz FM, Capital FM, NBS TV and AJ Music among others.