ZIMBABWEAN superstar Oliver Mtukudzi says he is working on a collaboration with the Village Pope Tshepo Tshola.
The duo is set to headline the Lesotho Times Fan Fest scheduled for 3 November this year at Setsoto Stadium. The gig is being held to celebrate Lesotho Times’ over a decade of service to the country.
Tuku told the Weekender recently that he has a pending project with the Village Pope.
Although he could not be drawn into revealing details of the collaboration, Tuku said is a massive project.
“Oh yes, we are working a massive project with Tshepo but I cannot reveal the details now,” Tuku said.
While he is famous for his husky voice and consistency in humanitarian work and messages, Tuku also has a strong talent development inclination which has seen him collaborate with numerous young artistes in Zimbabwe. He also runs Pakare Paye Arts Centre in his home suburb, just over 20 kilometres West of the capital city Harare.
He told the Weekender that he would be on the lookout for young artistes he can groom when he performs in two months from now.
The artiste who has performed in the Mountain Kingdom multiple times said he was excited about his forthcoming performance and that he also regards Lesotho as his home.
“Lesotho is also my home. When I play music, I play for people and I will do the same as I do when I am in Zimbabwe.
“What then makes it more exciting is how people respond to the music.
“While none of the younger artistes from Lesotho have approached me, I also have to play a part to find one or two to work with,” Tuku said.
At 65, Tuku has 66 albums with the latest Hany’ga-Concern released this year which he said is doing well on the market but has also been heavily pirated. “The album has done well but it has been heavily pirated. However, while piracy is a scourge that we are grappling with, it is also a sign of how popular our music is.”
With a career spanning over 40 years, Tuku remains one of the most consistent artistes in the region while his philanthropic work has also flourished.
He has mentored numerous artistes at home at his Pakare Paye Arts Centre and abroad as evidenced by the countless collaborations he has been featured on.
Tuku is also the United Nations Children’s Education Fund (UNICEF) Goodwill Ambassador and said he was disheartened by Lesotho’s persevering child abuse. Lesotho is second only to Sweden on the sexual abuse of women and girls.
“Sexually abusing children is disrupting their lives and it is very bad. We expect these children to take over from us when we are gone and we cannot continue like this,” Tuku said.
He also a number of songs that denounce abuse with the latest Haasati aziva coming off Hany’ga-Concern condemning child marriages. The video of the track portrays a marriage ceremony where a girl barely in her teens is being married off and criticises the practice as utter greed.
Tuku is also a renowned performer, revered on the African continent and even beyond as evidenced by the countless performances across the globe. While his music is generally categorised as Afro-jazz, he calls it katekwe, a sound influenced by cultural music from his Mt Darwin origins, in the Mashonaland Central province of Zimbabwe.
Despite the numerous awards and other achievements, Tuku remains humble, performing on all platforms great and small alike but churning out life lessons as he strums.