The International Committee of the All Africa Music Awards, AFRIMA, joins the African and global music community to mourn the death of African music legend Dr. Oliver ‘Tuku’ Mtukudzi, who died on Wednesday, January 23, 2018, aged 66 in Harare, Zimbabwe.
The celebrated singer, songwriter and guitarist immensely impacted the world with a legacy of great music spanning four decades and 67 music albums. Regarded as a cultural icon who used his work to promote African arts and culture in Africa and in the Diaspora, Dr. Mtukudzi’s Afro-jazz compositions touched on socio-cultural issues.
In 2017, Dr. Mtukudzi was the recipient of the AFRIMA Legend Award, a category of the All Africa Music Awards that recognises the influence and excellence of the continent’s music legends who contribute to the growth of African music and culture and use their craft to bring global renown to the continent. Tuku was present on the live stage of the 2017 AFRIMA Main Awards held on Sunday, November 10 at the Eko Convention Centre, Eko Hotels & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria. Besides receiving his 23.7 carat gold plated trophy for his recognition as an African music legend, Dr. Mtukudzi also performed his hit 1995 single, “Hear Me Lord” on the live stage of AFRIMA 2017.
In a condolence letter addressed to the Government and people of Zimbabwe through the Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality, Zimbabwe, the President & Executive Producer of All Africa Music Awards, AFRIMA, Mike Dada described Mtukudzi’s passing as a huge loss to the music world, “His passing is a huge loss to the world of music and has left a vacuum. However, his standard of greatness and talent is one that we will hold in our hearts forever. Tuku led a life of virtue, using his music to show his concern for humanity. He was a preacher and a freedom-fighter, his music represented freedom and hope for us all. We will never forget his struggles which served as an inspiration to the arts, music and culture community in Africa and in the diaspora.”
AFRIMA, in partnership with African Union, is a music property that recognizes and rewards the work and talent of myriad of African artists from the old to the new generation of musicians. AFRIMA also stimulates conversations among Africans and between Africa and the rest of the world about the potential of the creative arts for real humanizing enterprise on the continent contributing significantly to social cohesion, national, regional and continental integration as well as sustainable development in Africa.