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A Tribute to Tuku: The Man Whose Music Both Raised and Healed Me

One fan pays tribute to the late Oliver Mtukudzi and the impact of his music on her life.

My father died on a Tuesday. A few days later, I took the two-day-long bus ride to Zimbabwe to go and bury him in his village, among his people. Two weeks later, on the bus ride back to South Africa, I suddenly realized that life had lost a whole lot of color. Back at university, I'd stare into space, look at the ceiling or the blank walls of my dormitory or simply weep.

I eventually resumed my listening to Tuku's music as I studied or read up for my classes. It was months later, as I studied for my final exams, that I realized the one of the constants that would forever link me to my father: Oliver Mtukudzi's music.


As a Zimbabwean child growing up, the house was always filled with Tuku's music. Having not grown up in the village like my parents, my mastery of Shona was conversational at best. And so many a time, when Tuku invoked his characteristic rich metaphors, I would ask my mother to translate what he was saying.

Now aged 24, there is not a time I can remember that Tuku's music has not constantly been on my favorite playlist. Every time I have played a song of his, be it Tapera, Raki, Tozeza Baba or Mutserendende, it has brought on a bout of nostalgia. I am always transported to a specific place and time, particularly that of my childhood. I recall the long drives down to Zimbabwe we would take as a family and how my parents' entire discography of Tuku would accompany us: past the border, past the endless savanna and up-side-down trees, until we had reached home. I knew the playlist so well that as soon as one song ended, I knew which one would be playing next. Before I knew contemporaries such as Ciara and her one-two step or Usher and his burning confessions, I first knew Tuku.

My heart is sore in so many ways. It's always a sad affair when anyone dies but Tuku was a musician who, for many Zimbabweans especially, felt like a family member of sorts. He was just always there. Whether he was telling a young girl to go home because it was getting dark outside in Kunze Kwadoka or he was talking about the tremendous luck some men had in Raki, Tuku was always there.

I personally derived a lot of healing from listening to Tuku after my father died. In Tuku's music, there were so many places I wanted to revisit, places that did not yet know that my father had died. Tuku had the key to the many good memories of my father that I was so desperate to unlock. Memories that would not make me sad and an endless fountain of tears, but memories instead of a father who showed up to every school prize-giving ceremony I ever had. Memories of a father who would give everyone an earache when his daughter excelled or reached a milestone. Memories of a father who loved me so much so that I often struggled to understand why.

In Tuku's 'manje wangu wanhasi, kukwire gomo', there was comfort because I was not climbing those endless mountains alone. There were others just like me. In Tuku's 'kuseri kweguva hakuna munamato varume', I was reminded that my efforts were in vain if they were not made before I entered the grave, that living and living right, was something I should aspire to do before I no longer had the breathe with which to do it. If I could take Tuku's lyrics and bind them all, they would be my gospel.

There was a simple and yet deeply reflective touch to all his music. Whether it was in the sad and widely beloved song Neria, talking about the life of a bereaved widow, or in the mischievous 'cough-laugh' he became known for, Tuku was a symbol of exquisite profundity. In Bvuma, he let dictator Robert Mugabe know that Zimbabwe no longer wanted his raggedy ass in power and that his time was up. I am so very glad he got to see that day. In Tsika Dzedu he asked Zimbabweans what had happened to our cultural practices and why we had deserted them. And in Shamiso he celebrated his daughter's marriage as any delighted father would.

In every song, there was a message be it of hope, celebration, joy, sorrow or loss. And for that, I and so many others, are eternally grateful. Chizorora Tuku.

Africa In Your Earbuds
Photo by Hector Vivas - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

Kizz Daniel Performs At The FIFA World Cup

Nigeria's Kizz Daniel recently thrilled fans when he performed at the FIFA World Cup.


Renowned Afrobeats singer, Oluwatobiloba Daniel Anidugbe, also known as Kizz Daniel recentlymade his debut performance at the World Cup to raving fans. The singer performed songs from a selection of some of his well known smash hit records at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, which is still ongoing.

Some of the songs that he performed included: 'Buga', 'Cough', 'Lie', 'Pour Me Water', 'One Ticket', 'Eh God', 'Good Time' and many others.

The singer performing at the World Cup was somewhat of a self-fulfilling prophecy because earlier in June, he had shared on social media that he wanted to perform at the World Cup this year.

His tweet read: "God I want to perform 'Buga' for World Cup with a mass choir. Help me say amen."

During his performance, he was greeted by over 50,000 fans, who excitedly chimed in as he delivered some of his heavy-hitting songs. The 28-year-old also featured a live-band show during his performance.

Kizz Daniel is one of the many African artists that are leaving their mark on the global music scene. When he released ‘Buga,’ he received massive recognition from the record and it quickly became an anthem in Nigeria. To many, the song was one of the most prominent African songs of the year.

Kizz Daniel's recent performance at the World Cup marks the rise in global popularity that many of his peers are also receiving.

According to Sports Brief, Kizz Daniel's performance was a part of the FIFA Sound, which had at least five international artists in it's lineup who performed on the main stage during the famed sports event. Sports Brief also shared that all of the performances were an extension of FIFA’s entertainment strategy, which is an initiative that is created to establish solid relationships between the world of soccer and music.

Following his performance, a thrilled Kizz Daniel took to social media to show some of the excited reactions that fans had during his performance.

VADO OF AFRICA 🌍 on Instagram: "AS A NAIJA 🇳🇬 BOY I SAY THANK YOU AFRICA 🌍 THANK YOU WORLD 🌎 #fifaworldcup2022 #qatar2022 ‼️"

News Brief
Photo by Oupa Bopape/Gallo Images via Getty Images

South Africa Shocked After DJ Sumbody's Fatal Shooting

The popular Amapiano pioneer, DJ Sumbody, was tragically killed in Johannesburg.


News recently broke that the well known South African Amapiano music producer Oupa John Sefoka, popularly known as DJ Sumbody passed awaythis past Sunday, November 20th.

The family reported that specific details of DJ Sumbody's passing could not be released because the issue was a part of a larger, ongoing investigation.

"Artist and musician DJ Sumbody has died. Details of his untimely death cannot be released but the artist allegedly ran into an unfortunate incident that led to his passing in the early hours of Sunday morning, November 20 2022," the family released in a statement, according to News24.

According to several unconfirmed reports, the renowned South African DJ was traveling on Woodmead road in Johannesburg when gunmen attacked his vehicle with a hail of bullets, which instantly killed him and one of his bodyguards.

He was en route to perform at an event in Woodmead for the All White Veuve Clicquot Picnic on Sunday. Apart from being an Amapiano pioneer, DJ Sumbody was a creative force in the South African entertainment industry. In the early hours of Sunday, Sumsounds Music, his management team, confirmed the news.

DJ Sumbody was a pioneer of the well-known viral Amapiano sound, a word that translates to "the pianos" in Zulu and is an eclectic genre that started in South Africa in 2012 and fuses house, jazz and lounge music for a unique sonic experience.

During the pandermic, OkayAfrica featured him in the pieceDJ Sumbody Is Ensuring Amapiano Stays Alive During Times of Coronavirus and Social Distancing.

Social media users went online to share their shock about the unfortunate event.

Sports
(Photo by via Getty Images)

The Other African Footballers in the World Cup

There are five African teams in the World Cup, but there are at least 54 players on other teams who were either born in Africa, or have African ancestry.

Cameroon, Ghana, Morocco, Senegal and Tunisia are the five African teams in the World Cup in Qatar, but there are at least 54 players on other teams who were born in Africa or have African ancestry.

This is, of course, the result of the African diaspora, the movement of people from the continent towards the rest of the world. But the stories of how African players or their families got to the other side of the world are not always so stereotypical as one might imagine. The world cup, besides a month of football, is also a way to find out about how humans move through the world. Here are a few:

One of the most talked about stories in this tournament is that of Breel Embolo, who was born in Yaoundé, Cameroon, but represents the Swiss national team and refused to celebrate after scoring against his country of birth last week. Embolo scored the only goal in the 1-0 Switzerland victory. It was the first goal he ever scored in a world cup, and the video of it went viral. But it wasn’t because of his technique, it was because he refused to celebrate.

Embolo moved to France when he was six years old because his mom, who had separated from his dad, went to study there. She met a Swiss man and married him, and the family eventually moved to Switzerland when the now Monaco forward was still a kid. So when he scored for his adopted country against Cameroon, he decided to stop and hold his arms up while his teammates celebrated around him.

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Music
Photo: @Olapixels via Moves Recordings.

Get to Know Nigeria's New 'Cruise' Sound

A new, hyper dance style is bubbling out of Nigeria thanks to TikTok.

A frenetic sound has emerged from Lagos that pulses as the language of the streets. Despite inducing frenzied dancing at parties and across social media it remains a genre with no real name, mostly made on cheap PCs and ripped music software. Even many of those producing it do not care what it's called, no matter how excited they are to send dancers into electric-jolting fits.

London-based independent record label, Moves Recordings, have compiled their favorites of these tracks that ring out at a delirious BPM and they have dared to call it "Cruise."

It's music that exists as the intersection between class and social media and like punk or house before it, it's created by those whose lives are all but too immediate.

An explosion of youth-driven fast-tempo dance music may not be the signal for significant change in the disparity between rich and poor in Nigerian society, but thanks to TikTok, this music has not only burst out from the streets to blaze out across a nation. With help from the Nigerian diaspora from Ghana to the USA, the sound that has also broken worldwide, giving a voice to the voiceless in the slums of Lagos

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