OLIVER Mtukudzi has ruled out retirement ahead of his 60th birthday on September 22.
The superstar will be feted during celebrations set for Harare next Saturday.
After a career spanning almost four decades, Mtukudzi shows no signs of slowing down.
He declared: “I can't retire myself. You know Mirriam Makeba announced three times that she was retiring, but she died on stage.
“I wasn’t motivated to be a musician. I was born a musician, but I was motivated to perform and record music.”
The singer, who lives in Norton, has enlisted the help of his South African friends – Ringo Madlingozi, Judith Sephuma, Steve Dyer and Dorothy Masuku – who will join a host of local performers at a celebratory concert set for the Glamis Stadium.
The local cast includes Alick Macheso, Jah Prayzah, Dendera United comprising the Chimbetus — Allan, Suluman, Tryson and Douglas — Fungisai Zvakavapano-Mashavave, Diana Samkange and ExQ.
Perhaps in recognition of the singer’s national profile – the police and army have been handed roles in the celebrations.
An Air Force of Zimbabwe chopper – flying a ‘Tuku @60’ banner – will pick Mtukudzi from Norton at 8AM on Saturday and then fly low over the popular braai spot, Mereki, in Warren Park D, then on to Kuwadzana, Machipisa, Epworth, Chisipite, Borrowdale, Mabelreign and the city centre before landing at the Harare Exhibition Park and the Magistrates’ Courts.
Mtukudzi's convoy complete with a police escort, accompanied by drum majorettes, will then drive slowly through the streets of Harare coming to a stop at the Meikles hotel where the South African stars will be staying.
The gig at the Glamis Arena – where the cheapest ticket is selling for US$10 – will get underway at 4PM.
At midnight, Mtukudzi will turn 60 to the sound of fireworks. The party will go on into the small hours of Sunday.
Mtukudzi said he was looking forward to receiving gifts from his fans – but the singer has also been showing his generous side by spoiling his wife, Daisy, with a brand new US$50,000 Range Rover Evoque.
Daisy took delivery of the new motor recently, complete with a personalised number plate of her name.
Mtukudzi drives a Land Rover Discovery with the number plate ‘TUKU’.