LEGENDARY Oliver Mtukudzis’s performance at the Zanu PF million man- march on Wednesday has divided artists and fans with some saying agreeing to perform at the ruling party’s gathering was an endorsement of President Robert Mugabe’s regime.
Artists who spoke to NewZimbabwe.com said they always looked up to Tuku for advice on what direction to take for one to succeed in their trade and his advice is always spot on.
Those who supported Tutku said as he has fans across the political there was nothing wrong with him performing in front of thousands of Zanu PF supporters.
Controversial theatre producer and actor, Silvanos Mudzvova, who is currently riding high with his ‘Missing Diamonds: I Need My Share’, said Tuku had every-right to perform at the Wednesday event under the constitution of Zimbabwe.
“Mtukudzi has never declared his political affiliation openly to anyone and has every right to belong to Zanu PF or participate in their events; I know of many artists who have performed at ruling party events and nothing has been said about them before so why this hullabaloo about Oliver.
“Sulumani Chimbetu still plays his father’s songs praising Zanu PF misrule and you all flood his shows.
“If other artists play at opposition political events, Zanu PF should stop persecuting them and let them also enjoy the same rights they accord to artists who support them.”
Film producer and actor, Obrian Mudyiwenyama, also supported Tuku saying artists must perform to earn money.
“Ibasa (it’s a job), we cannot perform for people we love only, we perform everywhere nekuti ibasa.
“Performing at a Zanu PF or MDC function doesn’t mean you support that party. We are artists. We serve everyone,” said Mudziwenyama.
But Muzukuru Mbuya VaHector said the platform was wrong.
“No matter how much we try to sanitise it by giving comparisons, just as he has the right to perform where he likes we also have rights to say what we think about his performance and to dissociate ourselves from him no matter how much of a genius he is.
“Being neutral in times of struggle is unwittingly siding with the oppressor; kuimbira Smith kutengesa chimurenga (singing at former Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith gathering was selling out the revolution).Advertisement
“People are not hypocrites; he has exercised his freedom of association and we are calling on people to exercise their freedom by not buying his music and attending his shows,” said Whitlaw Mugwiji.
Writing in his controversial book, Tuku Backstage, journalist and former Mtukudzi’s publicity Shepherd Mutamba said in October 2010, Tuku accepted a gift of US$87, 000-worth of state-of-the-art studio equipment directly from the Mugabe.
“He (Tuku) told me about the gift and showed me the equipment that he kept under lock and key, right in his office and not in the store room,” wrote Shepherd Mutamba.