The Sunday Mail
SELMOR Mtukudzi’s 11-year-old son, Tinaye Ben Manatsa, is a proud owner of a Tanglewood Acoustic Guitar, a high-end British professional music instrument with a price tag of between £400 and £1 000.
The boy has music running through his veins. He is the son of talented guitarist Tendai Manatsa and musician Selmor, which makes him the grandson of the late Dr Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi and the legendary Zexie Manatsa.
On January 7 this year, 16 days before Dr Mtukudzi died at Avenues Clinic in Harare, the superstar’s family including daughter Selmor and her husband Tendai, paid the ailing legend a visit with their children. After a bit of chit-chat, Tuku is said to have asked all his grandchildren, individually, what careers they wanted to pursue in life.
“He gathered vazukuru (his grandchildren) around him and started asking them ‘what do you want to do when you grow up?’ They all gave their answers. When it came to Selmor’s son, Ben, his answer was ‘I want to be a musician or an artist’.
“He draws really well, he had brought his art book to show his grandfather all his drawings. When mdhara (Tuku) saw his drawings he told Ben that he too used to draw as well.
issues He said he started off with drawing before learning the guitar,” said Sandra Mtukudzi, who doubles up as Selmor’s manager and backing vocalist. Sandra is Selmor’s older sister.
She added: “He then instructed Ben to get one of his favourite guitars, which was close by and asked him to play something.”
With both enthusiasm and fretfulness, the boy is said to have belted Tuku’s classic, “Todii”. After that the legend asked the boy to play him one of his own compositions, and the boy who had warmed up, coolly played his song much to the amazement of Tuku.
“The song had lyrics that said ‘love does not harm but it always protects’. Mdhara was impressed, he just clapped his hands and said ‘well done’. Then he said to Ben ‘you can have the guitar’. Everyone was shocked and elated, and there was ululation all over. But he also gave Ben a lecture, saying, ‘this is not a toy Ben, this is a professional guitar. I want you to take good care of it and play it every day’. He also said that ‘kana sekuru vake vaManatsa vairidza nekuimba, inini sekuru vake ndiinazvo, baba vake Tendai vainazvo naamai vake Selmor vainazvo futi, it’s obvious kuti zvirimo munaBen, zvinofamba neropa izvi’ (His grandfather Manatsa (Zexie) is a musician and so am I, his father Tendai is an artiste and so is the mother. It’s obvious Ben has the same talent. It’s in the blood),” said Sandra, who believes that Tuku “blessed” the boy’s musical future.