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Oliver Mtukudzi and the dead guitarist: Your shouts!

THE 'ramshackle' van was used to transport Dube's body
THE 'ramshackle' van was used to transport Dube's body

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THE death of Oliver Mtukudzi’s former guitarist Philani Dube has sparked intense debate over what the veteran musician did, or didn’t do for him at his time of need. Our forums have been buzzing with your comments. This is what some of our readers have had to say:

think Mtukudzi should have helped a lot to the Dube guy. They say he was one of the guys who has been with Tuku from the start, l think he did a lot for the Tukus.

Matanga Mazimba! The guy was working for Tuku's company and getting paid for it. Contract yake yaitii? Iwe!

Tuku is just like any other businessman or bloody capitalist. As long as his music is selling, and the Dube guy did his job, he doesn't care about the welfare of the band members so long his wallet is growing fat. It’s not surprising that his band members are lodgers while he stays in a mansion.

All he cares about is his success even if the people around him are living in poverty.

This Dube guys should have been a reckless one. He was fired and went on to acquire HIV. Why should you think that your previous employer owes you to death? Tuku said at least he tried and bought him some ARVs...what did his family do for him???
The Kabaka

It’s every man's duty to take care of himself. The guy (Dube) was a failure.

I think what Mtukudzi did was more than enough... Zimbos expect too much from individuals perceived to be rich.
Mrs Nyarota

Wafa wanaka, makuda kudya bacon and egg kuma rufu enyu ko iye akatadza kugadzirira rufu rwake here?? Anga asinga piwe pay here na Tuku??

Tuku has no obligations here. I am sure Philani had a contract when working for Tuku under which he was paid. He then left the band later. It was his responsibility to put some money aside for a rainy day.

A few years ago I once watched a Tuku documentary in which his band members were saying how well they were being looked after. What happened to all the money they made from their overseas tours? The problem with most of our musicians is that they live recklessly and don’t watch their money and then they blame all and sundry (record companies, band mates etc) when they become paupers.
Grand Ayatollah al-Dismantler

Tuku was not obliged to do anything, the fact that he did something is remarkable.
Bla Diva

Why should a full grown man be taken care of by another man? Something is just not right there. Honestly this mentality must change and we should be responsible for our own lives.

Musicians in Zimbabwe must learn to save rather than squander money on prostitutes. Tuku should not be held responsible for anything. By helping Dube with the ARVs, and the few expenses he could afford, he did a great job.

Blame Dube's family who failed to give him a good send-off not blame Tuku. Hama dzinofanira kuita konde konde and come up with something and not expect a friend or workmate to do everything!

Ko Tuku aigotaura zvema ARVs aida kuti zviitesei? Has he gone for public HIV testing himself? Ipapo Tuku akaresva, but thanks for helping fellow band member.
Musana Bindura

Rest in peace Philani! Panofa munhu mashoko anowanda!

Vafana varikudiaspora gadzirirai your retirement and death - those two things are certain! You mightn't be celebrities but when the time comes people will mock you the same way you are mocking Philani!

I love Tuku but I think he has done himself a bad one now. He should just have assisted with the funeral. A good send-off, and it would all have been over with and everyone praising Tuku not the sh** he has done. Tuku was a respected guy but we now all know of his lodging workers whilst he swims in wealth.

We are not saying Tuku aifanira kufooter bill rerufu aihwa. Kune vanoziva history yaTuku, Dube akamiramira kuti Tuku ave zvaari and Tuku could have done better.

Vanhu vese varikuti Dube aifanira kuchengeta mari...kutaura nezvakaita zvinhu muZimbabwe aichengeta chii?

If I were Tuku, I would have wanted to been seen to have done something for this guy, Dube. Tuku is an icon in Zimbabwe, and as such, he represents everything that has gone wrong with our society. As shown by some posts on this forum, we have become selfish and uncaring.

In years gone by, a man of Tuku’s stature would have run around to make sure everything went well. He would then have criticised the relatives etc after the issue had been sorted out.

Maybe there is more to this story. Maybe they personally fell out long back and Tuku is not saying anything in respect of the guy's memory. Hameno.

Tuku indyile....ndiyeka wekumbonetsa vanhu vavekuti Picky Kasamba nei achigara nevabereki ku Mbare. Were it not for the press, the old man could be living with his parents iye Tuku aine two ma mansions. Chakaipa chakaipa mhani...he was not present at Mwendy 's funeral too...Aiwa Samanyanga gara zvakanaka nevamwe!

Tuku paid for (i) ARVs (ii) fuel (iii) coffin -- three very expensive commodities in Zimbabwe. How many here can claim to have done the same for your not so close relatives in Zimbabwe?

You need to understand that people die very frequently in Zimbabwe, last year I was there 18 days and attended three funerals, none of them planned. Do you know the number of work-days the average Zimbabwe worker misses due to funerals? It's a lot.

You can't expect a man to put his livelihood on hold in case someone dies at a bad time. Even for the well-off, Zimbabwe ain't rosy. His latest album in out in RSA, USA, UK but not in Zimbabwe because Tuku can't raise the forex to mass produce it!
Muzvaba Mutorahuku

Here is the thing. If your sorry a** lives in Mbare and you’re a** is broke, get buried locally. If you live in Ruwa get burried there, why travel across the country when you cannot afford it, kuti muzonetsa vanhu with your sob little stories?

Vanhu vanodya mari semushonga wemusana vachikangwamwa kuti mangwana is another day. You are all making Tuku look bad. If he provided fuel and a coffin, what the heck did the family contribute? it seems like pakapera fuel yaTuku they had no plan B at all vakarara munzira!

Why did they take him to Bulawayo then? Or when they knew he was dying, why did they not drag him onto a bus and took him to Byo while he had a pulse, surely its cheaper?

Each man for him self and God for us all. Plan your lives, death is certain.
U Lake Sipikili

Most of our prominent musicians die poor eg Mukadota. Why? The question is do they really make a lot of money from their trade? People are saying a lot about Mtukudzi, but is he rich? Other than the "mansions", what has he to show for the many years he has been performing? He cannot raise enough forex to have his album released in Zimbabwe.

Judging from the many overseas trips he has been doing, one would imagine he has that kind of money, but no! I attended his show recently in Dallas Texas and I had a feeling the guy is getting old and tired. If really he had a lot of money he would retire and enjoy his money. Miriam Makeba spent a long time in the States but she never got to be rich. Maybe we need to look at these guys again and ask, are these guys rich? Maybe they are just breaking even!

Asi kana ukanzwa kuti maid akambokushandira akafa, do you really bother kuendako? Let’s be realistic!

Munoda kupiwa fodya, moto, nebepa here? Yavamhosva kuti uriTuku kana kuti uridiaspora......hanzi chibhadhare zvose!

He was part of the band, he contributed to the success of Tuku on the international scene and he deserved the best treatment. Money was not supposed to be an issue when it came to matters concerning health.
Major General Sbare

It’s very cruel of Tuku to treat a fellow artist like this and the issue of him mentioning buying Philami ARVs is very spiteful, if not childish.Tuku is earning royalties and will continue to do so at the expense of the likes of Philani.

It’s pathetic. Tuku owes this guy some respect at least. Showbiz is not like some company or firm guys. They recorded together, toured together and they should have been family like. Imagine how you would help your friend in times of need. Think of all the music Tuku did with this guy. If we say and agree that Tuku was not obliged to do anything, then we have lost the human face.

People let’s be fair, Tuku's situation is no different from any other employer. If a worker leaves your work place for another for whatever reason, they cease to be the responsibility of their previous employer. Some have left jobs that we worked at for several years and have moved on to other employers.

What gives me the right to complain that my former employer is not coming to see me years later, when I am sick or ask them to buy me a coffin in the event of my demise? The problem here lies with the dead guy who kept on lying to his friends and relatives that he was still employed by Tuku when he was no longer there.

Apparently, there is a high staff turn over at Tuku Music, if Tuku was to continue looking after everyone who passed through his band, he would be a pauper today.
Brute Force

Tuku akashaisha, first he fired him knowing that Dube's death was imminent. Just getting rid of thrash? Mukoma Tuku musadaro. Ko iye Tuku haanawo here kana ka decent Mazda B1800 zvako kaigona kubatsira..... Ngatisadaro, so many drummers, guitarists and musicians from Blacks Unlimited, Barura Express etc have passed away but the band helped guys.

Apa Tuku wanyadzisa hako kasi. Even asi kuenda kunhamo, I think he must have gave in one his cars to assist. Kana kutumira mamwe ma band members. Kubvakwashaikwa kana ONE?

I agree kuti ideal situation would be Tuku Music sends a representative to the funeral of their ex-colleague. Asi because the world is far from ideal, I am looking at Tuku Music's likely response. Handizivi kuti kune mimwe misha vanhu vanovigwa nemadzisahwira here kana kuti ne hama?

Isu kwedu madzisahwira are there to ice the cake and the funeral is carried by the relatives mainly. Funeral expenses are mainly, chikafu, transport, ne coffin. Saka dai Tuku akaita main actor pese here akomana? Ko hama dzemufi dzozoitei?
Problem is we don't know how the realationship between Tuku and Dube was, but for old times' sake I think Tuku aka tryer, hamheno kuti akazogona here.

Tuku was outrightly rude, as if to say ndezvenyu izvo! Tuku should have allowed his manager to speak for him, thereby take emotions off his statements. Let us all know that where death is involved, people sympathise with the deceased, no matter how wrong they were.

Tuku should have learnt from the Tickays-Cont Mhlanga debacle: people are prone to supporting the dead over the living, no matter how wrong the dead are and how right the living are. Since Tuku didn’t have respect for Philani, he should have at the very least respected his own career and desisted from making anti-social statements. Never hit a man on the ground, Tuku didthat!

In being emotional over often unjustified criticism for his non-actions, he is killing his career. In music, one lost fan is a loss. Zvasina nechingwa chinonzi regera kutenga kana usingade pachauya mumwe achatenga. Maybe Tuku doesn’t trust his manager with making statements. Debbie must be having the last laugh!

This debate should lead to the overhaul of the royalty system in Zimbabwe. As I understand, a bandleader may bring his idea kurehearsal, then pitch it to others. Weguitar aona kuti opinda sei, wemadrums, etc. There are very few bandleaders who bring notes for each and every instrument making a song. In most cases the leader simply brings his song, and musicians complete the music.

As that stands, the leader is not the only creator of the work. Therefore, band members who contribute to the making of a song should also get royalties. This issue is bigger than Tuku, and needs an overhaul of the whole system. The biggest culprit is the record company, which isolates everyone else and remain with the leader in order for it to get maximum profits.

Poverty is also to blame, musicians end up playing for anything because they need to eat. If a musician asks questions about his contribution to the record, he is simply fired. And the music industry is vey small in Zimbabwe zvekuti ukasvipwa neone, shoko rinofamba zvonzi haashandike naye, anoda mari instead of the art. In short, this is the manifestation of a bigger but silent war between musicians being exploited by band leaders.

People in zimbabwe are so ignorant. They just think wese anemota anemari. Wese aimploya housegirl mukorokoza aita mari. They don’t know that the person is struglling. With the situation in Zimbabwe now, Tuku is struggling guys.

Mind you last time he said he is paid monies by ZMC at the end of the year, which will be nothing due to inflation. Besides issues of money management, the arts industry in Zimbabwe is not as vibrant as in other countries.

So to blame Tuku alone here is a misnomer. Blame should go to the music association, Dube's family and Dube himself for failing to prepare for his destiny.


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