Mtukudzi busy as a bee

He has been working on his forthcoming album tentatively titled Tsimba, a duets album, motion picture soundtrack for the film Lands of Our Fathers ‘ My African Legacy and Tsivo Revisited. Lands of Our Fathers ‘ My African Legacy is an international feature documentary about the life of Jennifer Bush-Daumec, a white English woman whose decision to become a New Zealander led to her need to know about her childhood in Zimbabwe, then known as Rhodesia. The documentary film highlights Jennifer’s past, racial identity and the legacies of colonialism both in Zimbabwe and in New Zealand. In an effort to unite New Zealand musicians and African composers, the producers invited Tuku in September 2004 to Auckland, New Zealand where they recorded the original soundtrack for the documentary. Tuku collaborated with New Zealand musicians Whirimako Black and Jonathan Besser to produce lyrics and music that fused the different cultural backgrounds that provided a backdrop reflecting the spirit of the film. The seven track semi-accoustic album opens with the theme song Une Chikonzero. The unique collaboration is sung in Shona, Maori and English. The song informs people that they have a right to be who they are. Other collaboration songs include African legacy and Celebrating differences. The film also features a new solo rendition of Tuku’s, Hatisarudze mubereki. Already he has staged two sellout shows in Zimbabwe and another international bash in Mozambique. He held his first show at the Harare International Conference Centre in January this year before he toured Mozambique where he performed alongside the internationally acclaimed reggae group ‘ UB40. Tuku did not hold any shows in February as he was busy clearing the backlog at his Samanyanga Studios in Norton where he first recorded Tsivo. Ever since then, he has been working in the studio perfecting Tsivo Revisited and the Duets Album while at the same time assisting on Pakare Paye Band’s debut album. “Everything is going on well and by 5am I would be already working in the studio,” he said. On Tsivo Revisited, Tuku is remixing the songs on the album giving them a new flavour and twist. Those who have listened to a blast from the past Tozeza that is featured on Nhava will know what to look forward to on this album. Another album that promises to be a collector’s item is the Duets Album that features some of the great voices in the country as well as in Africa including the South Africans Judith Sephuma and Ringo Madlingozi, Charles Chiweshe, Eric Wainaina of Kenya and the late James Chimombe. Other artistes expected to feature are songstress Fungisai Zvakavapano, Maureen Lelanda of Zambia and the late Biggie Tembo. According to Tuku, the 12-track album will feature songs that have been already recorded. For Pakare Paye Band, this would be the first album by a youthful outfit that has already familiarised itself with fans through partnering Tuku as a supporting act during his live shows. The 12-track album would also feature Tuku’s son Sam, who is expected to release his first album later this year. “Pakare Paye have done their own album and it features Sam,” Tuku said. Although Tuku has been working hard in the studio, that has not kept him out of the public gaze. Recently, he was among the more than 20 personalities who were honoured for their contribution to the tourism industry during the period 1980-2005. The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority gave him a Silver Jubilee Merit award for building Zimbabwe’s image positively in the region and world through his music. Meanwhile, Pakare Paye Arts Centre will host a two-day-mini winter festival as a prelude to Tuku and Friends birthday concert to be held next September. Judging by last year’s overwhelming response, the concert is likely to become a major feature on the entertainment calendar. The concert was graced by some of the top musicians and performers including guitarist Louis Mhlanga, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, the Princess of Africa, Amon Mvula, Jabu Khanyile, Steve Dyer and Judith Sephuma. ‘ The Herald

March 2006
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