Who is Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi? his biography, career, family and more

Who is Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi? his biography, career, family and more

Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi was a Zimbabwean musician, businessman, philanthropist, human rights activist, and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for the Southern Africa Region. He was born on September 22, 1952, in Highfield, Harare, Zimbabwe. Mtukudzi was the son of Samson Mtukudzi and Jesca Mtukudzi.

Full name: Oliver Mtukudzi

Age: Died at 66 years.

Date of birth: 22 September 1952.

Date of death: 23 January 2019.

Wives: Daisy Mtukudzi and Melody Murape

Children: 5 (3 with Daisy and 2 with Melody)

Genre: Afro Jazz

Albums: 59


Mtukudzi was married twice. His first wife was Melody Murape, whom he was married to from 1979 to 1993. His second wife was Daisy Mtukudzi. He had five children, including musicians Sam Mtukudzi, Selmor Mtukudzi, and Sandra Mtukudzi. Tragically, his son Sam Mtukudzi died in a car accident in March 2010. In 2013, Mtukudzi released an album titled “Sarawoga” as a tribute to his late son.

On January 23, 2019, Mtukudzi passed away at the age of 66 at Avenues Clinic in Harare, Zimbabwe, after a long battle with diabetes mellitus.


Oliver Mtukudzi, a musical genius, rose from the humble neighborhood of Highfield in Salisbury, now Harare, Zimbabwe. In 1977, he embarked on his extraordinary music journey as a member of the renowned Wagon Wheels band, alongside Thomas Mapfumo and James Chimombe. This opportunity was graciously provided by African nationalist and music promoter Paul Tangi Mhova Mkondo, who generously supported the group with financial aid and resources. Wagon Wheels band captivating performances took place at Club Mutanga (Pungwe), the sole nightclub accessible to the black community during Rhodesia’s era of segregation.

Their remarkable single “Dzandimomotera” achieved gold status, paving the way for Mtukudzi’s highly successful debut album. Additionally, Mtukudzi contributed his exceptional talents to Mahube, Southern Africa’s esteemed “supergroup.”

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Mtukudzi’s distinctive, husky voice elevated him as Zimbabwe’s most prominent musical export, captivating audiences worldwide. Garnering an immense following across Africa and beyond, he captivated hearts with his soulful melodies. As a member of Zimbabwe’s KoreKore group, Mtukudzi sang in the nation’s dominant Shona language, along with Ndebele and English, creating a harmonious fusion of musical traditions. Fans affectionately dubbed his unique sound “Tuku Music.”

The global stage beckoned Mtukudzi, and he embarked on numerous international tours, enchanting audiences in the UK, US, and Canada. In a memorable event, the renowned artist graced the wedding of Zimbabwean businessman Wicknell Chivayo in 2017, leaving guests mesmerized by his captivating performance.

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Oliver Mtukudzi’s indelible mark on the world of music is a testament to his talent, passion, and unwavering dedication. His legacy will continue to inspire generations to come, ensuring his spirit lives on in the hearts of music enthusiasts worldwide.

Social Commentary

Prior to the independence of Zimbabwe, Mtukudzi’s music depicted the struggles under Rhodesian white minority rule. In subsequent years following Zimbabwean independence, his music advocated for tolerance and peace and frequently portrayed the struggles of women and children.


1978: Ndipeiwo Zano (re-released 2000)
1979: Chokwadi Chichabuda
1979: Muroi Ndiani?
1980: Africa (re-released 2000)
1981: Shanje
1981: Pfambi
1982: Maungira
1982: Please Ndapota
1983: Nzara
1983: Oliver’s Greatest Hits
1984: Hwema Handirase
1985: Mhaka
1986: Gona
1986: Zvauya Sei?
1987: Wawona
1988: Nyanga Nyanga
1988: Strange, Isn’t It?
1988: Sugar Pie
1989: Grandpa Story
1990: Chikonzi
1990: Pss Pss Hallo!
1990: Shoko
1991: Mutorwa
1992: Rombe
1992: Rumbidzai Jehova
1992: Neria soundtrack
1993: Son of Africa
1994: Ziwere MuKobenhavn
1995: Was My Child
1996: Svovi yangu
1995: The Other Side: Live in Switzerland
1995: Ivai Navo
1997: Ndega Zvangu (re-released 2001)
1997: Chinhamwe
1998: Dzangu Dziye
1999: Tuku Music
2000: Paivepo
2001: Neria
2001: Bvuma (“Tolerance”)
2002: Shanda soundtrack
2002: Vhunze Moto
2003: Shanda (Alula Records)
2003: Tsivo (“Revenge”)
2004: Greatest Hits Tuku Years
2004: Mtukudzi Collection 1991–1997
2004: Mtukudzi Collection 1984–1991

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