OLIVER Mtukudzi has sacked his drummer Sam Mataure, but he is set to stay on temporarily as manager.
Mtukudzi took on Mataure as drummer and manager in 2007 after showing his ruthlessness by sacking SIX band members and his manager then, Debbie Metcalfe.
Now Zimbabwe’s most celebrated singer has shown he is not afraid to reorganise his band by dropping Mataure and replacing him with Simbarashe Dembedza, a former drummer with Jazz Invitation.
Mtukudzi has yet to speak on the move, but Mataure admitted making “costly mistakes” – which one Mtukudzi watcher said pointed to “lax contracts” which he may have signed with overseas promoters.
Without giving reasons for his exit, Mataure said he had found managing Mtukudzi and being a drummer a serious challenge – not least because he had no experience with artist management.
“It was tough going being both manager for the band and drummer,” Mataure told the entertainment website, ZimboJam.com.
“Yes, I’ve made costly mistakes when I’d lose concentration since I learnt on the job and never went for artist management training. I did my best.
"I will miss playing with Mudhara [Tuku]. He brought the best out of me and his katekwe music challenged me to be a better musician."
Mataure said juggling the two jobs had on occasions "inconvenienced the band".
“There have been times when Mudhara wanted to rehearse and I was too busy with phone calls and other things," he said. "Yes, I have inconvenienced the band because I was so busy. Things get more and more hectic. We have a lot of regional, international and local tours -- I could feel I was slacking.”
It is understood Mataure is on his way out of Tuku Music, although he has been allowed to stay on as manager while a replacement is found.
A source familiar with Tuku Music said Mtukudzi’s wife, Daisy, kept a keen eye on the company’s finances and had a zero tolerance for bad contracts.
“Daisy has her eyes on the till. No explanations can ever be entertained for lax contracts on the part of management,” the source said.
Mtukudzi is booked for two Econet Live gigs in Leicester and London over the Valentine’s weekend next month. On the tour will be South African house jaggenaut, Liquideep and the UK based Jusa Dementor, Oluhle and Bkay & Kazz.