Cape Town – Zimbabwean music legend Oliver Mtukudzi, affectionately known as Tuku, died on Wednesday.
Speaking to The Juice Oliver’s South African booking agent, Kevin Stuart confirmed the tragic news of his death.
As fate would have it, the music veteran died on the same day, exactly one year apart, as celebrated South African trumpeter and his long-time friend, jazz musician Hugh Masekela.
The two music icons were great friends joined together by their love for music.
Hugh, the world-renowned South African trumpeter, died at the age of 78 on 23 January 2018 following a lengthy battle with prostate cancer.
Speaking to TshisaLIVE at Hugh’s memorial service last year, Oliver said that is was easy for them to be friends, because they thought alike and he added that Hugh was the only artist who would visit him at his rural home.
He also spoke about the first time he met Hugh in 1983, saying that the trumpeter jumped onto the stage while he was performing and joined in with his instrument.
At that time he didn’t recognise Hugh, and was a little taken aback. But after the show they were formally introduced, and he said that he felt honoured to have shared the stage with him.
Appearing on Morning Live shortly after his friend’s death, Oliver spoke about the last time they performed together which was in 2017.
He said that they were in the process of recording music together, and that the project would remain unfinished as he couldn’t bare to continue without his friend.
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Minister of Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa also commented on the musical irony, tweeting: “Who would have thought, that bra Oliver Mtukudzi would be reunited with fellow African music legend, bra Hugh Masekela – on the same day just a year later?”
“Together your impact shook the African soil like an earthquake, yet you still instilled a sense of hope for a brighter day,” he added.