BULAWAYO reverberated to song and dance as fans and artistes came together to celebrate Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi’s 60th birthday in the city of kings on Friday night.
Report by Sheyleen Masuku
The belated birthday celebrations kicked off at Edgars when fans gathered at the retail outlet in large numbers to catch a glimpse of the icon who made a brief appearance at the shopping outlet before heading to the city’s Ampitheatre.
Tuku was presented with a big birthday cake while 60 trees were planted in his honour at Hillside Dams Conservancy as part of the celebrations.
The musician, who turned 60 on September 22 initially held flamboyant birthday celebrations in Harare and South Africa.
In an interview with NewsDay, Events Africa manager Jomo Mhone said Tuku was overwhelmed by the love he received from his Bulawayo fans.
“It was so overwhelming for him, it was emotionally touching and he was at the point of tears. The only comment he made was that Bulawayo was ‘real’,” said Mhone.
A star-studded line up of renowned and upcoming Bulawayo artistes such as Family Voices paved the way for Tuku who took to the stage at midnight and gave a thrilling two-hour performance.
“Tuku appreciated what the artistes did for him and he totally loved the performances, especially the dance from Simunye Simunye at the end of the show when he performed Tozeza Baba,”said Mhone.
He added that Tuku had identified talent in Bulawayo and was liaising with Family Voices for a collaboration.
“He has asked me to talk to their manager and organise a meeting. He wants to do a collaboration with the group.”
On Saturday morning Bulawayo-based conservationist Kheyi Masuku led a procession of Tuku’s fans and Mzilikazi ka Matshobana football club to plant 60 baobab trees in honour of the musician.
“He was unable to come due to a tight schedule. However, he gave us the permission to plant the trees on his behalf,” said Masuku.