The Sunday Mail
SOME have called it a clash of the titans, while some believe it is an acid test for a superstar’s longevity and a maestro’s relevance.
Whatever the case, Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi and Alick Macheso’s Tuesday night gig at the Harare International Conference Centre promises to be explosive.
If not for Tuku’s forthcoming album “Eheka Nhai Yahwe” or Macheso’s new effort “Tsoka Dzerwendo”, just the fact of having these two giants of song on stage is enough cause to anticipate fireworks.
Tuku and Macheso are Zimbabwe’s most celebrated artistes, and the two first shared the stage back in 2003 as the latter was showing the nascent signs of stardom.
Tuku fans knew what to expect of their musical hero that night at Old Hararians Sports Club, but who really was Macheso? However, Macheso’s inspired performance converted many into believers who have remained loyal followers to this day.
For 13 years since their first joint gig, Tuku and Macheso have serenaded music fans locally and internationally.
They enjoyed purple patches as well as misfortunes and still remained close.
At one point Macheso appeared to rule the roost but it never got to his head; Tuku remained his elder and friend.
Calamities could not separate them. Macheso never left Tuku’s side when the superstar was mourning the loss of his son Sam in 2010. He was a pillar of strength for his grieving friend. When Macheso’s daughter, Sharon, wed a few years ago, Mtukudzi’s Pakare Paye Arts Centre in Norton was the venue, and Daisy – Tuku’s wife – was at the heart of organising the lavish ceremony.
The pair are godfathers of local music and their star power and crowd pulling abilities are undisputed.
Yes, younger more energetic stars have been born, led by Jah Prayzah and Suluman Chimbetu, but they know who the bosses are.
So, will Tuku and Macheso deliver the perfect Africa Day present to their fans? Will they rise to the occasion like they have done time and again?
Their decision to charge just US$5 is a marketing masterstroke in these times of cash shortages; and the centrality of the venue shows the organisational side of things is well in order.
One of the gig organisers, Taka Mashonganyika, said this would be 100 percent Tuku Music and 100 percent Cheso Power in celebration of Africa Day.
“We know things are tough cash-wise, which is why we are charging US$5. This is Tuku and Macheso coming together just to thrill their fans.
“Mudhara (Tuku) will be sampling songs from his forthcoming album. It is a night not to miss,” said Mashonganyika.
This Wednesday is Africa Day, a day that means different things to millions if not billions of people around the world.
To Africans, and Zimbabweans particularly, it is a special celebratory day where being African, viewed by some as a curse, is celebrated as a blessing. For music lovers, there is no better way to celebrate Africa Day than with Zimbabwe’s music giants, Tuku and Macheso, true Zimbabwean and African ambassadors to the world.