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Norton to honour Tuku

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HARARE – Norton residents have lined up a dinner in honour of music superstar Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi for being included by Forbes magazine among Africa’s Top 10 most bankable artistes.

The dinner, set for Tuku’s Pakare Paye Arts Centre in Norton on July 29, is being spearheaded by the independent Member of Parliament for the area, Temba Mliswa.

Mliswa is hopeful that the forthcoming event will encourage Zimbabweans to celebrate local heroes.

“We have discovered that in Zimbabwe we don’t normally celebrate our heroes. This event is meant to celebrate what Mtukudzi has done for the Norton community.

“He has brought business to the area through the establishment of Pakare Paye Arts Centre, an initiative which saw a number of talented artistes graduating from the facility,” the firebrand legislator told the Daily News.

Mliswa was quick to point out that Tuku would not perform at the special dinner.

“We want him to enjoy the night. His Pakare Paye Arts Centre products such as Mbeu will perform at the event. We want to see in practice the young musicians he is producing. All the proceeds will go to charity causes in Norton,” he said, adding that they will also honour other great achievers from Norton.

“We have a number of legends from Norton who include footballer Knowledge Musona. We will also celebrate their achievements as a community in the near future,” the legislator said.

Tuku’s manager and drummer, Sam Mataure, told the Daily News that the music legend was looking forward to the dinner.

“He (Tuku) really appreciates the efforts by Mliswa and his team to honour him. It is always good to be appreciated in and by your own community,” said Mataure, who is also a drummer in the Black Spirits — the music star’s backing band.

Four years ago, the Harare Jazz Festival honoured Tuku through a high-profile gig “Tuku Tribute” held at Harare International Conference Centre (HICC).

The HICC gig, which was also meant to celebrate Tuku’s achievements in the music industry, featured performances by top stars such as Ammara Brown, Alexio Kawara, Tariro NeGitare, Ba-Shupi and Munyaradzi Mataruse.

Tuku, whose music career has spanned over four decades, is Zimbabwe’s most internationally-acclaimed artiste with over 60 studio albums.