Oliver Tuku Mtukudzi's Biography
Oliver Mtukudzi, also known as "Tuku" (short for Mtukudzi) is a
singer-songwriter, actor, writer, film director and entrepreneur. With
over 60 albums to his name, he is one of Zimbabwe's top musicians and
lead of the band The Black Spirits. His sings a music genre known as
Afro-Jazz. Mtukudzi's career spans decades, having started in 1975 when
he did his debut single.
Mtukudzi began performing in 1977 when he joined the Wagon Wheels, a band that also featured Thomas Mapfumo. Their single "Dzandimomotera" went gold and Tuku's first album followed, which was also a major success.
With his husky voice, he has become the most recognised voice to emerge from Zimbabwe and onto the international scene and he has earned a devoted following across Africa and beyond. A member of Zimbabwe's Korekore group, with Nzou Samanyanga as his totem, he sings in the nation's dominant Shona along with Ndebele and English. He also incorporates elements of different musical traditions, giving his music a distinctive style, known to fans as Tuku Music. Mtukudzi has had a number of tours around the world. He has been on several tours in the UK, US and Canada to perform for large audiences.
Unlike Mapfumo, Mtukudzi has refrained from directly criticising the government of Robert Mugabe.
He is the father of five children and has two grandchildren. Two of his children are also musicians. His son Sam Mtukudzi, a successful musician in his own right, died in a car accident in March 2010.Mtukudzi was born in a family of six; one of his sisters and his only brother, passed away.