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Unicef honours Tuku’s memory


United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) regional director for Eastern and Southern Africa, Leila Gharagozloo-Pakkala, yesterday said the world body joins Zimbabweans and music lovers across the world in mourning the loss of Oliver Mtukudzi.


Pakkala said they had the pleasurable experience of working with Tuku following his appointment as Unicef Regional Goodwill Ambassador for Eastern and Southern Africa in June 2011.

“Unicef had the pleasure of working with Oliver Mtukudzi on issues relating to young people’s development and HIV and Aids prevention. He used the power of music and impactful lyrics to speak out against stigma, discrimination and abuse of children, and inspired people at all levels of society to take action on behalf of children,” she said.

Pakkala said as “a tireless advocate to end child marriage” Tuku composed the heart-rending track, Haasati Aziva, in which he rapped parents that pledged under-age children for marriage.

She said Tuku also recently authored a compelling opinion published by a local daily during the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence campaign, “calling for an end to this harmful practice”.

“Unicef offers its deepest condolences to Oliver Mtukudzi’s family and Zimbabweans everywhere,” she said.

“We honour his memory as a champion of children’s rights.”

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