MUSIC living legend Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi says he was born an ambassador and does not need a diplomatic passport.
Mtukudzi, who has travelled extensively since 1980, said a diplomatic passport would not make any difference to his travelling as he had more recognition outside the country.
Tuku, as he is affectionately known by his legions of fans, was responding to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Arts, Sports and Culture chairperson Never Khanye during a tour of his Pakare Paye Arts Centre in Norton yesterday.
“About the diplomatic passport, that is not very important. I have been travelling since the 1970s, they cannot appoint me an ambassador now because I was born an ambassador. I represent every Zimbabwean including the President at other platforms where they don’t go,” said Mtukudzi.
During his address to the committee about the challenges artists are facing, Mtukudzi took a swipe at government for having a negative attitude towards arts just like yesteryear parents who viewed it indifferently.
“We want to see the good out of this government, but as for us (artists) whether you like it or not we represent you,” he said.
“We are good ambassadors for this country. We face so many challenges, but if the attitude is right nothing will go wrong. But because your attitude is wrong that’s the reason we face so many problems in the arts industry.”
Tuku said the government must change its attitude towards arts.
“Just imagine I even don’t know my minister and he doesn’t even know me. He doesn’t care. Sitting in high offices without knowing the people you represent is useless,” he said.
Mtukudzi said he did not understand why visiting artistes are sometime turned back at Harare International Airport and other ports of entry due to misunderstandings.
Thanking the committee for taking its time to come to Pakare Paye, Norton MP Temba Mliswa said he was shocked that Mtukudzi had no diplomatic passport which was accorded to swimming queen Kirsty Coventry a few years back.-newsday