By Jonathan Mbiriyamveka
Harare – Zimbabwe’s acclaimed music icon Oliver Mtukudzi or simply Tuku to his fans says he is learning to cope with his son’s death and believes the sad loss cannot be erased easily.’
Sadder still, condolence messages continue to pour in seven years after the tragic accident in which his son – Sam and his childhood friend and sound engineer – Owen Chimhare died on the spot after the vehicle they were travelling in veered off the road before it crashed into a ditch.
In an interview with The Southern Times recently, Tuku spoke of how sad life has been without Sam.
“When I lost my son I used the stage to heal because that was the only place where I could not think of him but see him besides me. So I couldn’t cry.
“I remember that was the time I staged several gigs but no matter how much I try the memories cannot be erased.
“I’m still learning to heal from it (death) and when he died I didn’t shed a tear because I was still in shock,” Tuku said.
He explained when pressed further on how Sam’s death affected him so much: “After a day or two that is when I started realizing that he was no longer there.
“You know there were both good and bad things he used to do, at times he would steal from me and when I wanted him to assist me he would do that.
“You know I started knowing him well after his death because no one could do the things he used to do. We had about five pastors who claimed that Sam belonged to their church. He was a man of the people.
“We were almost like friends and not father and son because that way he was free to tell me anything.
”Until today condolence message continue to pour in pane vaye vanogara kunze kwenyika vanga vasati vandiona vanotondibata maoko. (There are those in the diaspora who still pass their condolence messages when they see me).”
He, however, ruled out any foul play for the accident instead blamed himself for causing the death.
“I remember the last conversation we had when I was in South Africa. I had told Sam to pick me up at the airport but after I postponed the journey the text sort of delayed in reaching him so he waited for me at the airport.
“He then sent a text joking about how age was catching up with me. He said perhaps I had gone to the roadport and not the airport.
“The next thing I heard was that Sam was involved in an accident so I blamed myself for having postponed coming to Harare. If I hadn’t done that perhaps he would still be here,” Tuku explained.