TUKU’S ‘LOVE CHILD’ TEARS FAMILY APART

19 May, 2024 - 00:05 0 Views
TUKU’S ‘LOVE CHILD’ TEARS FAMILY APART

The Sunday Mail

“Some of the Mtukudzi family members are still bitter; they do not like me, and they are trying to use every possible loophole to seize property from me. They think they will gain access to the estate by changing Aaron’s surname to Mtukudzi.” — Daisy Mtukudzi

Prince Mushawevato and Dennis Chimanzi

AFTER recent revelations that the late music superstar Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi could have sired yet another love child — Aaron Chaka — his widow, Daisy Mtukudzi, is not pulling any punches and has come out guns blazing, accusing some of her in-laws of conniving with the “imposter” to emotionally abuse her.

Aaron wants to have his surname changed from Chaka to Mtukudzi.

Tuku succumbed to diabetes on January 23, 2019 and was declared a national hero.

After his demise, the Mtukudzi family was inundated with phone calls from people claiming to be the late singer’s offspring, with some of them even keen on taking DNA tests.

Aaron Chaka

At least four children emerged soon after the legendary singer’s death.

Of the four, two were male and the others female, all from different mothers.

Prior to this, The Sunday Mail had exclusively revealed in 2010 that the musician had another son, Selby, but the family vehemently denied paternity.

However, Selby’s tale was later corroborated by journalist and Tuku’s former publicist Shepherd Mutamba in his biography “Tuku Backstage”.

Daisy Mtukudzi

Selby was at the time enrolled at a Catholic seminary in the capital.

The late singer’s official children are Sandra, Selmor, Samantha and Sybil.

Long lost “son”

Well, it appears controversy never ceases to stalk the Mtukudzi family.

Five years after the music maestro’s death, the 45-year-old Aaron has become the latest to come forward claiming to be his son.

His 69-year-old mother, Rosie Makumbe, sensationally claimed to one of our sister papers that the song “Hazvireve”, which is commonly called “Hazvireve Rudo Handina”, was composed for their son — Aaron.

The son, she further claimed, was born when she was 16.

What baffles many though is why Aaron and her mother have taken four-and-a-half decades to make their case public.

Rosie Makumbe

And their decision to raise the issue through the media has been further queried.

Could this be a publicity stunt or Aaron is simply an opportunist?

“Where was he all along? Why has he all of a sudden decided to come forward claiming to be my husband’s son? What is his real motive?” a visibly irritated Daisy asked.

Culturally, when someone passes away, funerals and memorial proceedings are the appropriate days when such children should show up with their relatives to claim their stake in the family.

“This is so disturbing, to say the least. At 45, Aaron is an old man. I have never seen him in my entire life, even when Mtukudzi was still alive.

“He did not even show up at his so-called father’s funeral wake, burial and memorial service, only to appear five years later with such claims; this is just amazing,” said Daisy.

The late singer’s widow believes Aaron and her mother are conniving with some “rogue” elements in the Mtukudzi family that do not wish her well.

“Some of the Mtukudzi family members are still bitter; they do not like me, and they are trying to use every possible loophole to seize property from me. They think they will gain access to the estate by changing Aaron’s surname to Mtukudzi,” she added.

Daisy said she was open to the idea of Aaron going for DNA tests to prove his paternity.

“There are plenty of Tuku’s blood relatives around. He (Aaron) should choose one to go with for DNA tests so that the world knows the truth, but I know he is lying through his teeth.”

Reluctant

However, Aaron is reluctant to undergo DNA tests. In fact, he claims to be in good books with several Mtukudzi family members, who have since told him that “DNA tests are not necessary”.

“The family has already welcomed me. I will never make myself available for DNA testing, even if Tinashe Mugabe offers to do it for free. Besides, this is against our tradition. Traditionally, we did not do DNA tests; why now? Tinashe (Mugabe) has since been warned by our elders not to meddle in our family affairs,” said Aaron.

“Family elders are confident because my late father introduced me to them. I do not have to listen to what Daisy is saying because she is not of the Mtukudzi lineage. I have long been accepted in the family and am now only focused on changing my surname.”

He has since approached the courts with the help of some of his paternal relatives.

“The matter is now before the High Court. With the assistance of my father’s relatives, we wrote an affidavit about my issue and now we are waiting for the final judgment from the High Court so that my surname can be changed,” he revealed.

Aaron also dismissed the “opportunist” tag.

Tuku’s widow is the sole beneficiary of the estate after a law firm filed a will indicating Daisy Kudzai Mtukudzi was to inherit all movable and immovable property.

The major immovable asset the family has is Pakare Paye Arts Centre in Norton, while movable property includes several vehicles, among them a Land Rover Discovery with personalised number plates.

“I do not care about my late father’s property. All I want is to use his surname and for the world to know me. Many people believe Sam was his (Tuku) only son, but that is not the case,” said Aaron.

Acceptance

The Sunday Mail Entertainment reached out to Godfrey Mukonowenzou Mtukudzi, the late Tuku’s younger brother, who made some startling claims.

“I have known Aaron since his birth in 1979. Mukoma Tuku was in a naughty relationship with Rosie Makumbe when he was still in Highfield. When she became pregnant, he transferred her to Gweru so that the news did not spread. He did not want his wife and friend Jack Sadza to find out.

“Rosie was Jack’s sister. When Aaron was born, he used to take care of them and provided everything needed,” revealed Godfrey.

That very same year, Tuku tied the knot with his first wife, Melody Murape, at a colourful ceremony.

Melody is the mother of Sandra and Selmor.

“I knew everything about this child and his mother. However, we could not tell our sisters as we feared the situation would go out of hand because of gossip — You know ladies. If Mai Sandra (Melody) had known about this, the wedding would have certainly not taken place. In 2018, mukoma (Tuku) wanted me to assist him (Aaron) to get a birth certificate but the process stalled as he was not feeling well then.

“During Tuku’s burial, Aaron was one of the guys who carried his father’s casket. Maiguru asked who he was and I lied to her that it was one of our nephews,” added Godfrey.

He further claimed Tuku and him occasionally met with Aaron and at one point he visited the Pakare Paye Arts Centre in Norton.

“We delayed introducing him to the public because we knew the impact it would have on Tuku’s status and marriage. I have no reason to lie about Aaron being one of us. Several people have come forward claiming to be the late singer’s children, but I have so far dismissed four.

“More are still coming, and some are even based in Britain. We will be screening them as we go. Misikanzwa yedu varume iyi (That’s us, men, being naughty); even when I die, you will also experience this. As for Aaron, I have since referred him to Madziva so that he meets our village headman,” he added.

Godfrey said he understood if his sister-in-law (Daisy) did not know anything about Aaron since he was born before she became part of the Mtukudzi family.

Dismissed

However, Bybit Mtukudzi — sister of the late music icon — is singing from a different hymnbook.

She considers Aaron an impostor.

“I have never engaged with him at any level. If he was truly my brother’s son, I would know. My brother and I were close and open to each other. He never hinted a single day about the existence of this boy,” said Bybit.

“I am surprised to be reading or hearing him say we have welcomed him into our family. Who has welcomed him? We do not know him! The family knows all the kids who were left behind by our brother.”

The late Tuku’s nephew, Nigel Nyamutumbu, who is Mtukudzi’s younger sister Beulah’s son, agrees with his aunt.

“My uncle was very open with me. He trusted me with all his secrets. If this story was true, he (Tuku) could have told me about him (Aaron) or even mum.

“Together with my mother, we were shocked when we read the H-Metro story about a 45-year-old claiming to be my uncle’s son,” he said.

“Forty-five years? Where was he all along? This guy is certainly attention-seeking or after something.”

Estate

Fredrick Manyangarirwa, a legal expert and estate agent, opines Aaron now has little or no chance to claim a stake in the late singer’s estate.

“The case of changing his surname from Chaka to Mtukudzi is one thing and claiming a stake in the estate is another altogether. If his family members agree that they have a paternal relationship, the court will then easily facilitate his surname,” he said.

“When one claims the estate, firstly, there is a need to confirm his paternity with the deceased, and this can be done through DNA tests. Even if the family accepts him without DNA tests, the court will still ask why Chaka only appears now, five years after his father’s death.

“Mtukudzi’s case was well-publicised. It was the same case when his estate was distributed to the beneficiaries.

‘‘No one came through to challenge and that certainly cannot happen now.”

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