Tuku’s big day finally here

LEGENDARY musician Dr Oliver Mtukudzi turns 65 this Friday, September 22.

A mammoth bash to celebrate this milestone is set for Pakare Paye Arts Centre in Norton the following day.

The fete will feature top artistes, among them South Africa-based Jah Seed, Amayenge from Zambia, Jah Prayzah and the internationally acclaimed Iyasa.

While Tuku’s birthday celebrations have always been special, this one is a bit unique considering the numerous events that have been held in his honour in the run-up to his big day.

From local mini galas to an exclusive dinner in London earlier this year, nothing has been left to chance in ensuring that the artiste is appreciated in every way possible.

In an exclusive interview with The Sunday Mail Society, Dr Mtukudzi said he felt blessed to have lived to see his 65th birthday.

“It is not because of my own genius that I have managed to survive this long but the grace of God Almighty,” said Tuku.

“The birthday party is themed ‘Kudza Ishe’ because I want people to come not just to celebrate but to help me praise God and thank him for everything he has done for me from the gift of life to the illustrious career I have enjoyed.”

He said that the acts he has invited to come and perform on the day are artistes whose craft he appreciates.

“Since it’s my birthday, I get to choose the artistes I want to see performing so that is how the line-up came about. I am a huge fan of these guys and their work and I am sure they will be able to entertain the people who are coming to party with me,” explained Tuku.

He encouraged people to come in their numbers as he promised to host an exciting event.

“I am inviting all my fans to come through and I would urge you to come early because if you are late you might not get the chance to have a bite of my specially made cake. Ukadya manonoko unowana cake racho rapera.”

Last year, the superstar combined his birthday with the launch of a new album but this time around he has decided to do things differently.

“The new album is there but we will not be releasing it on my birthday like we did last year. There are still a few things we need to adjust but fans should brace themselves because as soon as it’s ready, we will give it to them.”

This will be a rare opportunity for local music lovers to see Jah Seed live in action. The dreadlocked artiste rose to fame in the ’90s as part of the group Bongo Maffin, which released a string of hits including “Thathi Sgubhu”, “Mari Ye Phepha”, “Kura Uone”, “Makeba”, “The Way Kungakhona” and “Iphindlela”, to name a few.

As a solo act, Jah Seed has also done well, with his album “No Retreat No Surrender” earning him an award for Best Reggae Album at the 2011 South African Music Awards.

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