The marks of Oliver

If you were fortunate enough to have met Oliver Mtukudzi or to have listened to his music you definitely have a story to share with the world. Oliver Mtukudzi was a legend, someone who loved his craft . The overused phrase “legends never die” is applicable in the legend’s life because his music is a reminder of how great he was. People refer to the late Oliver Mtukudzi as “Mdara Tuku” , “Tuku”, “Samanyanga” or simply Oliver. Maybe you believed that Tuku was your friend (shamwari) your father(Baba) or your uncle (sekuru). Maybe Oliver Mtukudzi forced his way into your homes, you listened to his music on the turn table, the television or even the radio. Although he forced his way into our homes I am hope that you are grateful he did . Oliver Mtukudzi’s music could be played during the good and the trying times. It was actually unacceptable in most homes to have a gathering and leave out Tuku’s songs on the playlist.

Oliver Mtukudzi’s music managed to cut across all generations, because people from three or four generations can actually sit in the same room and sing along to his music. I am grateful to have been part of the third generation from my maternal family that appreciates Tuku’s music.

23 January 2019 marked the day that the legend passed away and it was exactly a year after Hugh Masekela had passed away. We have to scatter the roses when someone is alive and I am grateful that Zimbabweans, Africans and the world at large managed to appreciate Tuku’s music.

#dhukuforTuku -January 2019


I think Mdara Tuku composed this song while admiring Daisy who could have been fast asleep or maybe Daisy had prepared a delicious meal and he wondered how he had been so lucky. How I wish I could be able to have a walk with Oliver and ask him what inspired him to compose Svovi yangu . In this song Oliver appreciates how Daisy has managed to love him regardless of his flaws, and ever since the day he fell in love with Daisy his life has been bliss.

Oliver Mtukudzi mentions how people always wait for the day when the two lovebirds have an argument so that they can have a good laugh. This shows that every relationship has got its ups and downs. Daisy brought nothing but joy and happiness in Oliver’s life. Daisy was that missing puzzle piece in Oliver’s life , “wazadzisa moyo wangu Daisy ,wanga uri gasva.” Oliver is grateful to have Daisy in his life because his life has become worth living. In this song Daisy is refered to as “mbabvu” which translates to the word rib , and this shows that they are a team. Even when Oliver is worried about something Daisy is always there for him , which shows that she is a supportive spouse. This song is indeed a reminder of how couples should always be there for each other during the good and the bad times.

While singing this song Tuku even blows a kiss to his wife.
Ndiwe mbabvu yangu ndiwe
Ndiwe svovi yangu
Ndiwe mumwe wangu (blows a kiss) ndiwe
Ndiwe wega uripo 😉.


Todii is simply a question. One does not know the way forward and this is why he decided to ask a question. Oliver Mtukudzi composed this song as a way of raising awareness for HIV and AIDS. This is because a lot of women or men chose not to tell their partners that they were HIV positive and in some cases one of the partners would be taking the ARVS while the other partner was unaware that he or she has been infected with the virus.

How would you feel if your partner chose to betray you ? The person who chose to betray you is not a stranger but your spouse, someone who professes his or her love to you. What then happened to the words “transparency and faithfulness in a relationship?”
I really wonder if the pain will ever go away when someone you deeply love chose to betray you.


Is a song about someone who is in the diaspora and happens to be homesick. The woman is in a happy space and she even mentions that her husband is taking care of her but she longs to be in her home country. She goes onto to mention how she is struggling with the issue of language but she sends her love to everyone who is back home. We might have a better life but sometimes we wish we could be able to converse in our native language, appreciate our culture and enjoy our indigenous foods.


Whenever I listen to this song I always shed a tear, this is because I have lost some of my loved ones and friends. “Tumirai mhere” is a phrase that is used when delivering bad news. In this song Tuku sought to highlight that death takes a lot from us, we have a lot of questions and we are uncertain of what will happen tomorrow.

Death is inevitable and one begins to think of who will be able to attend you funeral when a lot of people have passed away. Offering your condolences to the bereaved family member can end up losing its relevance because you have lost so much. When I was a child I believed that the only people that should die have to be old and have grey hair. However life has taught me that death does not spare the youths or the young children. In this song Oliver Mtukudzi also highlights that being alive does not mean you are wise or intelligent. A lot of people have lost their loved ones but sometimes you are deeply hurt to the extent that you do not feel the pain anymore. In some cases you are forced to live with the pain and grief for the rest of your life, this is because the pain of losing your loved one has been glued to your heart.

I could spend the whole day analysing Tuku’s song but I have learnt that music can be used for various purposes rather than for entertainment purposes. One can tell a story through song too.

Some of my favourite songs from Oliver Mtukudzi include ,Mai Varamba ,Mutserendende
Tozeza Baba ,Into yami just to name a few.

Published by tcndangana

The girl with an overactive imagination

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