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20 Great Songs From Oliver Mtukudzi

Here are some of the best tracks from the Zimbabwean jazz legend.

As the legendary Oliver 'Tuku' Mtukudzi is laid to rest today, we remember his four-decade long contribution to music.

There is no childhood, especially that of a Zimbabwean child, that is complete without Mtukudzi. He is a musician who has always been an extension to a household, and he will continue to be so for many years to come. And not just for Zimbabweans, but for every single individual from all over the world that took delight in listening to his timeless offerings.

Mtukudzi released over 60 albums, each one proving better than the one that preceded it. His genre of Afro-jazz, with the characteristic mbira, told numerous stories and valuable lessons through the richly metaphorical Shona language.

There is a Tuku song for every stage in one's life and for every grievous and joyous moment.

Mtukudzi worked with numerous other musical giants including his dear friend Hugh Masekela, Ringo Madlingozi, The Black Spirits, Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Joss Stone.

As the world mourns the passing of a true music connoisseur and creator, we celebrate his legacy with some of his most beloved songs.

Listen to these songs in our Oliver Mtukudzi playlist on Spotify and Apple Music.


"Neria"

Mtukudzi tells of the sorrowful plight of a widow in Zimbabwe after she loses her husband. This is perhaps his most internationally recognized record.

"Todii"

In this record, Mtukudzi asks his fellow Africans what they'll do to get rid of the scourge of HIV/AIDS on the continent before it claims the lives of even more.

"Mutserendende"

Mtukudzi speaks of how, unlike the simpler lives of his ancestors, his own life is far more challenging and akin to constantly climbing a mountain.

"Ndagarwa Nhaka"

This record explores the Shona tradition of 'nhaka' which speaks to how a recently widowed woman is allowed to marry her husband's brother so as to be able to remain in the family.

"Kunze Kwadoka"

In this jovial record, Mtukudzi tells the story of a young woman who is out having fun and how she ought to get home soon because it's getting dark outside.

"Wasakara"

This record was banned from radio stations in Zimbabwe at some point as it spoke, although not directly, about how then dictator Robert Mugabe had become raggedy and needed to step down from the presidency.

"Ndakuvara"

Ndakuvara translates to "I am hurt." In this track, Mtukudzi speaks to how he is hurt whilst tending to the cows, and how those around him should hurry and call the mother of his children.

"Mabasa"

This hauntingly beautiful song speaks of how one has just received terrible news and how that news then needs to be relayed to the elders of the family.

"Raki"

Mtukudzi says that there are some men who survive purely by luck and no greater driving force outside of themselves. In this record he explains some of the reasons why he feels this happens.

"Pindurai Mambo"

Whilst this record sounds deceptively jovial, it in fact is a plea to God to answer the prayers of those who are suffering and constantly in want.

"Hazvireve"

In this record, Mtukudzi speaks of a father who is trying to assure his child he had in his youth that he loves her, despite not having been in her life.

"Ndima Ndapedza"

Mtukudzi speaks about how he has done his work and completed it - there is nothing left to do. Perhaps the most fitting record to say farewell to a man whose music was so transcendent.

"Mbabvu Yangu"

In this slow-paced and almost reflective record, Mtukudzi talks about his wife Daisy, and describes how she has filled his life and is the only one he sees - his mbabvu or 'rib'.

"Wagona Fani"

This record is filled with gratitude as Mtukudzi thanks his wife for raising their children and further praises her for having raised them so well.

"Tozeza"

Once again, what sounds like quite a pleasantly upbeat song proves to be the story of child asking why his constantly drunk father beats his mother.

"Tsika Dzedu"

In this record, Mtukudzi reflects on how he feels Zimbabweans are losing some of their customs and traditions and asks where they are all going.

"Shamiso/Watitsvata"

In this record, Mtukudzi sings about the joy and excitement he has after his daughter has recently gotten married.

"Mai Varamba"

Mtukudzi tells the simple story of how the mother of a certain household says no to a particular request and how nothing more can be done - hers is the final say.

Oliver Mtukudzi ft. Hugh Masekela "Tapera"

The two legends and dear friends collaborate in this transfixing record which speaks to how the youth are perishing and in turn, we as a people are perishing as a result.

"Chiri Nani"

In this record, Mtukudzi talks about how everything has its owner and that one must always ask the owner for permission to use it.

Listen to these songs in our Oliver Mtukudzi playlist on Spotify and Apple Music.




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Listen to a Fela Kuti Tribute Album Featuring D'Angelo, Questlove, Nile Rodgers​ & More

2002's Red Hot + Riot albumis available on streaming platforms for the first time.

Red Hot has made the their Fela Kutitribute album Red Hot + Riot available for the first time on all streaming platforms to mark its 20th anniversary.

Red Hot + Riot features notable contributions from an all-star guest ensemble that includes D’Angelo, Questlove, Femi Kuti, Talib Kweli, Sade, Tony Allen, Macy Gray, Nile Rodgers, Jorge Ben Jor, Baba Maal, Meshell Ndegeocello, Dead Prez, Kelis, Roy Hargrove, Archie Shepp, and many others.

The updated 20th anniversary version includes bonus material including a remastered version of the entire project. The project also includes a cover of “Sorrow Tears & Blood” by Bilal, an acoustic version of “Trouble Sleep” with Baba Maal accompanied by the legendary kora player Kaouding Cissoko and an extended version of Sade’s “By Your Side” by Stuart Matthewman.

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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 ‼️"

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Photo Credit: Sope Adelaja

Travel Diary: The Warmth & Beauty of Senegal is Unparalleled

In OkayAfrica's latest Travel Diary, Nigerian photographer and storyteller Sope Adelaja heads to Senegal to learn what it's like to embrace the "Teraanga" lifestyle.

After about 10 hours of flying and stopovers I landed in the city of Dakar, Senegal at about 11pm. I approached immigration to have my passport stamped and then proceeded to get my luggage. I immediately noticed that almost everyone spoke French and very few people understood English. I understand little French, so I knew then that it was going to be a struggle. With the help of Google Translate, I was able to then negotiate and hire a cab to drop me off at my residence for the night.

Photo Credit: Sope Adelaja

The language barrier was not as much of as an obstacle as I thought it would be. This largely had to do with the generosity and warmness shown by the community during my visit.

Senegal is known as the “ Land of Teraanga." Teraanga, which is a Wolof word, is often defined as meaning “ hospitality." But that is a very loose way of translating it. It's so much more complex than that. It is a process of discovery and expression. It is a way of Life. Teraanga is aimed at showcasing a narrative of hospitality and beauty that exists across different cultures.

Photo Credit: Sope Adelaja

Unity over adversity is a running theme of Saint-Louis, a town located on an island at the mouth of the Senegal river. It is an outstanding example of a colonial city by its natural setting and colonial architecture which gives it a distinctive appearance and identity. (These features are why the island is on UNESCO's World Heritage Site list.)

Photo Credit: Sope Adelaja

Saint-Louis is a city that will charm you. Beyond tourism, this community has come to embody its resourceful spirits. A big part of the way of life is fishing. It is the main occupation of people living in Saint-Louis, also known to the locals as Ndar.

Photo Credit: Sope Adelaja

When shooting in Africa, it’s easy to lean on visual crutches — like ornate jewelry or bright, striking clothing. But that’s only skimming the visual surface of the community of people. Digging deeper requires an extended stay, as well as collaborating with locals who have grown up in the area.

Photo Credit: Sope Adelaja

In the course of digging deeper, i discovered Ndar had a lot more to offer beyond beautiful aesthetics, very rich culture, and history it holds strong remains of past colonial times.

Next up was Gorée Island and the destination is an exceptional testimony to one of the greatest tragedies in the history of humanity: slave trade. Even with its complicated history, Over the years, Gorée Island has become a well known destination, with figures like Nelson Mandela and even Unisted States President Barack Obama and his family visiting the island.

Photo Credit: Sope Adelaja

Storytelling is so powerful. And as a photographer, it's my intent to show the warmth, beauty, and hospitality of Africa across different regions. I strongly believe we as people of Africa have a responsibility to further shape the narrative of Africa’s unique culture and people.

See more photos from Senegal below.

Photo Credit: Sope Adelaja


Photo Credit: Sope Adelaja

Photo Credit: Sope Adelaja

Photo Credit: Sope Adelaja

Music
Photo via Mavin Records

The 9 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Mavin Records, Asake, Stormzy x Amaarae x Black Sherif, Fally Ipupa, Pheelz x French Montana, and more.

Every Friday, we highlight the top releases through our best music of the week column, Songs You Need to Hear. Here's our round-up of the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks.

If you like these music lists, you can also check out our Best Songs of the Month columns following Nigerian, Ghanaian, East African and South African music.

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