The Sunday Mail
“I have named it ‘Mukombe Wemvura’ because every song on the album is like a glass of water,” said superstar Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi of his upcoming effort due for release “when we are done”. The 10-track CD, his 62nd comes in the year that the well-travelled musician turns 62 as well and has plenty to celebrate as his vision, Pakare Paye Arts Centre, marks 10 years since hosting its first programme.
The album was recorded on January 16, in front of a live audience numbering 300, a first for the artiste, in the lounge of the Sam Mtukudzi Conference Centre, one of the many facilities that Pakare Paye boasts of.
The Sunday Mail Leisure team had a rare opportunity to listen to the unmixed version of the album, which carries interesting track names like “Hukoche-koche”, “Ndururu” and “Kamburu-mbude”, to name just a few.
“We did just one take, all 10 tracks, there were no re-takes,” boasted Tuku about the recording session, which he did with three greenhorns from his Pakare Paye Arts Centre, Alice Muringai and Feona Gwena as backing vocalists, and Tatenda Vhiya on keyboard.
The rest of the recording party consisted of Sam Mataure on drums, Zivanai Masango on lead guitar, Enoch Piroro on bass guitar and Otheneal Mangoma on percussion.
The album opens with the track “Zvineita Tikudzwe”, named and sung in Tuku’s native dialect, Kore Kore. The song talks about how respect is supposed to be earned based on one’s actions.
It is followed by “Hukoche-koche”, where Tuku sings about how people should strive not to be left behind as others better themselves in life.
The song even urges those with no sound ideas to copy what others do but to do so only from the best.
As each song fades away with the players of instruments and singers lowering their volumes and voices, Tuku points out that perfect as it may sound it was not done by a machine- “it’s the fingers and actual voices doing that, it was not done using a machine”.
Lyrics like “kusvipa, kuramba uchisvipa nhai kunodzinga hwema here?” characterise the fourth track, “Dzingehwema”, which encourages people to act so as to solve their problems or discomforts not just complain while doing nothing about one’s circumstances.
Then there is “Kumbai Manyowa”, a song about how Zimbabweans living in the diaspora will remain outsiders in the places they live in while not knowing that they are treasured back home.
In that song, the granddad of Zimbabwean music urges people that are starting families in foreign lands to ensure that their children appreciate their country and heritage.
And as per tradition remixes come in the form of “Perekedza Waro”, a dance version of “Perekedza Mwana”, originally released in 1981, and “Yave” (originally done in 1984) but redone this time with slight changes to the instruments.
“Ndururu”, a song about watching out for wrong advice, “Munhikwi”, a track about resolving of people’s small differences and “Se-Feso”, a track about safety and security complete the 10-track album whose distinct Tuku music sound is set to propel it to dizzy heights.
Just like his previous effort, “Sarawoga”, most of the tracks have a jazz feel and are laid back with clear vocals that emphasise Tuku’s lyrical dexterity.