RED carpet event specialists Black Tie Management have announced the four-star Thistle Marble Arch Hotel in central London as the venue for their much anticipated Tuku Tribute Dinner.
Famed for its classic Art Deco design and elegant style, the hotel provides the perfect setting for an intimate evening in honour of Zimbabwe’s most successful musician, Oliver ‘Tuku’ Mtukudzi.
Event director Rue Masiyanise said preparations were gathering pace for the 29 November event with a line-up of confirmed performers on the night due to be announced soon.
“We’ve chosen a central venue that has character and is located in the heart of London’s cultural life,” Masiyane said.
“For instance, just over the road from the hotel is the iconic Hyde Park, venue of some of the world’s biggest summer music concerts. This is the kind of space we’re bringing our own Zimbabwean music royalty into.”
The tribute dinner is in honour of Tuku’s long contribution to Zimbabwe’s music and culture and for his commitment to promoting social change through art.
With the growth in numbers of the Zimbabwean diaspora also came a growing sense of cultural alienation as life in exile took its toll on the emigrant community.
And from the outset, Tuku acted as a cultural Florence Nightingale, doing the ward rounds across the Zimbabwean Diaspora and nursing their weeping wounds of nostalgia for home with song and dance.
He empathised with Diasporans over the painful realities of life away from home and brought into mainstream society a new perspective of life abroad that challenged the conventional view at home that it was all easy and all rosy, especially for those that had migrated to western countries.
“Hakuna akaziva Marimuka idikita (No one knew that life in the Diaspora was hard work and sweat),” Tuku sings on Izere Mhepo, a track that laments the tough and often unrewarding life of many in the Diaspora.
Responding to the organisers’ invitation to the dinner, Tuku’s manager and drummer Sam Mataure said: “Samanyanga (Tuku’s totem) and the band are delighted to be honoured in this very special way, especially by our own fans.
“Tuku’s musical journey has been a long and rich one, and it has included everyone from the remotest growth points of rural Zimbabwe all the way to the new diaspora communities in Africa and overseas. We are all looking forward to travelling to London and meeting our friends and fans at the dinner.”Advertisement
Organisers are currently offering a limited early bird discount of £60 per ticket for the first batch of buyers; thereafter tickets will revert to the full price of £75. Tickets plus further information about the tribute dinner can be found on www.tukutribute.com.
Guests will sit down to a sumptuous three-course meal plus an assortment of beverages and also enjoy a live performance of Tuku’s classic songs by a stellar cast of Zimbabwean artistes from the UK.
The highlight of the night will see the husky voiced Tuku, armed with his beloved acoustic guitar, take to the stage alongside members of his band to give guests a taste of his own music.
The event finishes around midnight and guests will take away a special gift, signed by Tuku himself.