Tuku: What retirement? Artists have no term of office

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By Idah Mhetu

MUSIC legend and cultural icon Oliver Mtukudzi has ruled out retirement as he turns 66 years old.

Tuku ruled out retirement while responding to a Twitter follower, who remarked; “Why is this Tuku guy not retiring whilst he is still ahead of the rest?

“We don’t want a Miriam Makeba situation of dropping dead on stage in the middle of a performance.”

Said Mtukudzi in response; “I didn’t apply to be myself so one can’t retire from being himself. How do you run away or say I am done being myself?

“As artists, we have no term of office or a set retirement age. This is who we are. It’s not an employment career; it’s our life.

He continued; “One more thing about art and creativity, no one person is ahead of another. No one artist is bigger or greater than the other; it’s not a competition.

“We are there to complement each other not to compete against each other so one should never have to stay ahead of anyone.”

On the reference to South African legend Mirriam Makeba, Tuku said; “Lastly, Mama Makeba did not die in the middle of a performance.

“She gave us a life to be admired till she breathed her last. She opened doors and showed many young girls and women who are alive today that its possible.

“We will continue to respect her life and work.”

The multi-award-winning Tuku is one of Zimbabwe’s biggest music and arts stars with over 60 albums to his name.

He began performing in 1975 at the age of 23 and has become the most recognized voice to emerge from Zimbabwe.

He has a huge international following, regularly performing across Africa and beyond.