JOURNALIST and author, Shepherd Mutamba, will next Monday publish the second edition of his Oliver Mtukudzi tell-all biography, Tuku Backstage.
BY ANESU MUSHAWATU
The first edition of the book was published in 2015 and the new addition incorporates 11 new chapters from the initial 24 in the first edition as well as three pages of references and Tuku’s milestones.
“I photographed the entire book over a period spanning nearly a decade when I worked closely with Tuku as his publicist,” Mutamba said.
He said the new pictures in the book capture some of Tuku’s key points in music, but also familiarise the reader, fan and archivist with some of Tuku’s life experiences as a family man and businessperson.
“I reckon the strength of the second edition is demonstrated by the manner that photographs trace and unpack Tuku’s life and colossal music and, in so doing, also elevate music photography in its literary form,” Mutamba said.
He said the new edition will be dominated by pictures that capture Tuku’s creative processes, including a chapter titled Photographing Tuku — The Body Language.
“The book shows pictures of Tuku’s intense moments on stage. I interpret his body language to give his fans and readers an understanding of the meaning of some of his gestures, postures and facial expressions when he is communicating non-verbally during a song,” Mutamba said.
“I reckon that I captured Tuku’s moments of intense emotion more accurately because I gave myself time to understand his musical themes and how certain songs conversed with him and evoked particular reaction and body language.”
Mutamba said his passion for music photography and patience helped him explore the depths of Tuku’s music genius.
Renowned author and former University of Zimbabwe lecturer, David Mungoshi provided the foreword to the book, which he described as “somewhat voyeuristic”, as it divulged Tuku’s “closely guarded secrets and moral deficiencies”.
Mutamba said the new book acknowledges recent efforts by Tuku and his daughters Selmor and Sandra to repair their acrimonious relationship, documented in the first edition, but largely dwells on the music.
“Away from Tuku’s secret life and politics, the second edition interrogates the music even more broadly than previously,” he said.
Mutamba said although the first edition angered some Tuku fans, writing was for the brave, and added that Tuku did not have reason to dislike the book unless if he was in denial.