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The Official Tuku Music Statement: Sam Mtukudzi dies

Filed under : Africa, Music

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You know deep down, I was like please say it ain’t so…well it is so official & Zimbabwe truly mourns the sudden loss of Sam Mtukudzi. Tuku Music released a statement regarding the passing of Sam Mtukudzi this morning.

Monday, 15 March 2010 12:19

Musician Sam Mtukudzi (22) son of Oliver Mtukudzi died on the spot in Harare early this morning when his car veered off the road and crashed into a bridge near Kuwadzana Extension on the Harare-Bulawayo Road. Also killed in the accident was Sam’s friend and sound engineer Owen Chimhare (24).

Both were travelling from Harare to Norton where they lived.

Oliver Mtukudzi and his wife Daisy, who were on private business in South Africa, have received the tragic news with shock and were rushing back to Harare.

The bodies have since been taken to a private funeral parlour in Harare. Burial arrangements will be announced in due course.

Mourners are gathered at the Mtukudzi family home at Number 4276 Mtukudzi Way, Knowe, Norton.

For most of last week Sam and Owen were in South Africa mixing Sam’s second album. On Saturday 13th April both returned home and Sam staged what was to be his last show at Sports Diner in Harare. The crowd was small but Sam gave one of his most powerful performances in recent times – as if to say goodbye to his fans.

And just last week Sam had performed at one of the Perekedza Mwana concept shows at Extra Mile Leisure Spot in Harare where he attracted what all of us at Tuku Music Company thought was unprecedented attendance for a lazy Sunday afternoon. Four hundred fans (400) attended the show that was to be Sam’s last joint show with his father. They had both traveled together from another joint show in Rusape the previous day.

The Perekedza Mwana concept was conceived by Sam himself where his father was to accompany him to the old venues mainly in the ghettos were Mtukudzi senior played in the 1970s and 1980s. Already they had launched the shows at Mushandirapamwe Hotel in Highfield, Harare.

Just last month Sam had performed with his father at the Nzou neMhuru muDanga concert at the 7 Arts Theatre in Avondale, Harare.

Nzou neMhuru muDanga was a theatrical production that pollinated across genres and forms – there was a full mbira cast, contemporary dancers, Tuku and Sam as a duet and with their full separate bands, The Black Spirits and Ay Band respectively. They performed in a makeshift enclosure representing a kraal and nursing pen for the elephant and its baby hence the theme Nzou neMhuru muDanga loosely translated to mean an elephant and its baby in the kraal. Tuku is of the elephant totem.

Now, when all of us at Tuku Music Company and Pakare Paye Arts Centre look at the few recent events and the rare concepts that Tuku and Sam were involved in together, so closely of late, we are not wrong to say Tuku was simply passing the legacy of music to his son. But as fate would have it, that was not to be. When we look at the events in retrospect we see that in a way Sam was bidding his father farewell through a string of their recent collaborations. What can we say?

Born on 1st April 1988, Sam first showed his musical nature at the age of four when he started strumming on his father’s guitar. The family was then located in the City of Kwekwe. At the age of 10 his father saw him perform at a school concert and was so impressed by the performance that he bought him his first guitar.

When he started high school at Prince Edward in Harare, Sam found before him an institution that had great facilities for him to pursue music seriously and to learn a number of instruments. He immersed himself into it, learning mbira, drums, marimbas, saxophone and mastering his guitar skills.

As soon as he was done with school Sam started performing professionally, backing his father on many occasions, but also performing on his own. He went on to form his own ensemble, the Ay Band.

Sam released his first album, Rume Rimwe in 2007.

He performed all over the world including in countries such as Canada, United States of America, Lesotho, Swaziland, Kenya, Malawi, Zambia, South Africa, Nigeria, Ireland and United Kingdom.

His talent has illuminated festivals such as the Harare International Festival of the Arts (HIFA), Cape Town International Jazz Festival, Winter Jazz Festival, Victoria Falls International Jazz Festival and, Johannesburg International Jazz Festival among others.

We are all saddened, we are in shock and disbelief that a life so young can go so soon. Sam was on the new board of Pakare Paye Arts Centre that Oliver Mtukudzi announced in January this year. At only 22 Sam was the youngest board member but his contributions were invaluable as we embarked on the rigorous journey of developing the arts academy founded by Tuku in 2003.

– Issued by Shepherd Mutamba, Director Information – Tuku Music Company and Pakare Paye Arts Centre on behalf of Oliver Mtukudzi, his wife Daisy and family.

farai – who has written posts on Farai Today.

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  • Steven Farai Mutiti

    Tragic! I’m at a loss of words. May his soul rest in eternal peace. Zororai murugare Samanyanga.

  • Ronald Nyandoro

    Its really sad to have such a sudden departure for such a young and promising mucician. My heart is truely with the Mutukudzi family, Tuku Music Company and the hordes of fans of Sam on this sad patch in their lives. To Sam, I say rest in peace.

  • Junior Jambaya

    I am dumpfolded and really hurt.I happened to be a fan of both Sam and his dad.Before I left the country ,i attended the nzou ne mhuru yayo show and it was beautiful.The young man had so much potential.

    I pray for the Mtukudzi family as they mourn their beloved son.May the Holy Spirit ,the comforter from above see them through this grieving period.

    May Sam’s soul rest in peace.

  • RandomnOne

    I am just at a loss of words at these news. I saw Sam and his dad in concert when they came to Toronto and I can safely say his smile did not belie him. He was a very charming and easy going young man. Oh… what a tragedy. His dad was so proud of him. May his soul rest in eternal peace :*( So sorry to the Mtukudzis

  • gani phiri

    young, talented, born in it, born with it, vosionery, successful,a national resource, national pride, an inspiration to the youths, role model to his teens,, and now wat will the nation and the art industry do without u??? wat a graet loss not only to the tuku family but to Zimbabwe as a whole,, lala ngokuthula mafana,, rest in peace,,,

  • Sharon

    My heartfelt condolences to the Mtukudzi family, Sam you where so great at what you where doing, I remember the first time I saw you perform with your dad at the Basekine in 2006 in Johannesburg it was the launch of Wonai the DVD, it so out of this world. Rest in perfect peace my brother. Ndima yakho wasakura wapedza, kwasarira isu vephenyu.

  • Bongani

    It is hard to believe this loss, our loss. We were looking forward to more visits to Swaziland by this maestro in the making. Such quality!

    To the Mtukudzi family, God shall be with you in this period. Our condolences.

  • Laz

    Zvatibaya moyo. Words can express how deeply affected we are.

  • Nyasha

    I can’t beleive that this very young man is no more.I am truly devasted by his untimely death and it has come at the stage where his father the “superstar” was nurturing him into a fine musician just like him.Zimbabweans have been robbed of a talented and great musician.

    To Samanyanga and his family,our prayers and thoughts are with you and this sad moment.God be with you

  • Wiza

    what a loss to Africa and the world at large, a sun of the soil whom we thought will take a baton from his father and continue to entertain us with classic play of music.The last time i saw him play with his faher was in 2009 at the BASSLINE in Jozi, what a guitarist we lost in him. i couldn’t hold my breath when i heared of his demise. my sincere condolences to the Tuku family and the music lovers around the world.

  • Nadine

    Heartfelt condolences to his dear family and friends. We were blessed to see him and father onstage together last year. Love and blessings from Toronto. May he rest in peace.

  • http://google Cynthia

    May their souls rest in peace. Nomatter how painful it is God is in control, He alone has a reason to allow certain things to happen.Trust in God and cast your burdens to Him. He will surely take control

  • http://google Cynthia

    God is in control, the pain is just too much but we just have to trust Him

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  • mags

    I am so sorry to hear this and send my condolences to His family…Much love and peace…

  • mags

    I am so sorry to hear this and send my condolences to His family…Much love and peace…

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