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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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Photo by: Naira Marley YouTube

Naira Marley Continues to Celebrate Nigerian Independence In "Ayewada" Video

Watch the new music video for the God's Timing's The Best standout track.


Azeez Fashola, professionally known as Naira Marley, just released a new music video for his record "Ayewada." The Rexxie-produced song is taken from his debut album, God's Timing's The Best.

Ever since he broke into the music scene, Marley has brought with him a unique representation of what Afrobeats means. The record "Ayewada" is a song that marries elements of Afrobeats with hip-hop, in a compelling synergy of what can best be described as Afrorap. The up-tempo song is catchy, with background instrumentals that reinforce the fast pace of the record. Over the years, the edgy singer has garnered a reputation for being fearlessly risqué in his artistic approach, which has gained him the cult-like following of his fans, the renowned "Marlians."

Naira Marley's sound has also become a phenomenon because of his unique ability to fuse elements of UK rap with the indigenous intonations and verbiage of the Yoruba language while tying it all together with catchy beats. His palette for music is particularly interesting because it stands out from the competition, and although Marley's sound is unique and unsaturated, he still manages to be commercially successful.

In addition to his versatile sonic sound, the 31-year-old Marlian leader also has an electrifying stage presence, as has been seen with his appearances at WizKid’s StarBoy Fest at London’s O2 Arena, Afro Nation festival in Puerto Rico and Portugal, and many more. Never been one to follow trends, Marley's unpredictability and organic sound is perhaps two of the strongest elements that make his fans gravitate towards him.

Watch the music video for "Ayewada" below.

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The Latest 'Wakanda Forever' Trailer Unveils New Female Black Panther

The 2-minute action-packed preview makes us wonder: Is Wakanda really forever?

Africans Assemble! The latest trailer for Black Panther 2: Wakanda Forever has just been released.And the trailer leads us to believe that director Ryan Coogler's talent has reached new heights.

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Photo Courtesy of Biker Girls Gh

Meet the Ghanaian Biker Community Led by Women

From riding motorcycles as a hobby to pushing charitable causes, Biker Girls Gh are always in motion.

In Ghana, there is a staunch stereotype that comes with riding a motorcycle. The notion persists that people who ride them are vagabonds, criminals, and social misfits. This mindset has slowly festered and is now deep-rooted in the typical Ghanaian society. Aside from the negatives, there is the fear for life when one mounts a motorcycle and, as such, many Ghanaian homes have been against motorbikes.

Enter Jessica Opare Saforo, who is redefining what this means with Biker Girls Gh, a women-led biker collective she founded in 2018. In a fairly conservative society like Ghana, to see women riding around freely attracted quite the attention.

However, be it one of indignance or admiration, Jessica didn’t really care about the conjecture people had about the group. “For me, creating this group wasn’t about what people thought," Saforo tells OkayAfrica. "OK, if you thought women weren’t supposed to ride. That was your headache, not mine.”

How it all began

motorcycle

Most bikes are manufactured with men’s physique in mind. Women might find it difficult to find the right fit for them.

Photo Courtesy of Biker Girls Gh

Biker Girls Gh was created after Saforo's mother passed away in February 2018. Losing someone she was extremely close to devastated her and she found solace on the wheels of a motorcycle.

“I lost my mother and I figured, you know, I had this passion that I wanted to pursue for the longest time. And I felt you only live once. Why don't you just embark on something that you have always wanted to do?," Saforo said. "Because time is not given. And, tomorrow's not guaranteed.”

She reached out to Rosina Fynn, the executive director of Biker Girls Gh and one of the very few women actively biking at the time. Fynn's husband, a member of Biker Girls, offered biking lessons and Jessica learned from there. Over time, Saforo found that being on bike helped alleviate her pain.

“On the motorcycle, you cannot multitask," she said. “So whenever I was on a motorcycle, I didn’t think about her and the pain too much. That helped me cope better. You just learn to live with the pain and hope they are in a better place.”

Biker Girls Gh riding in streets

“Before you officially join the group, we take you out on a fun ride to assess how you ride and also gel with the girls," Saforo said. "This is done like three times."

Photo Courtesy of Biker Girls Gh

She decided then to form a community of women who simply loved riding like herself. Interestingly, she didn’t have to convince women to join. Representation really does matter. Women got the nudge they needed when they saw her — unapologetically being herself — on the motorcycle.

“You would see people on television or maybe on the internet who would ride and you'd think, 'Oh, that's such an interesting sport or an interesting hobby to have.' But you would think it was out of reach," Saforo said. "'Till you realize your next-door neighbor is a female rider and then you‘re like, 'Oh, wait, it's not so far out of reach.' And then you say to yourself, 'OK, this is something I can do, too.’”

Most bikes are manufactured with men’s physique in mind. Women might find it difficult to find the right fit for them. (Even though Saforo suggests the Kawasaki as ideal for women between 5’5 to 5’8.) And motorcycling is a relatively high-risk hobby; safety is non-negotiable. Biker Girls Gh is stern on safety precautions, which sounds intimidating to the average rider or new rider. But it is a policy they are unwilling to compromise on. Should a member ride without their full gear on three times in a row, the group exercises measures like suspension.

The group doesn’t offer bike lessons and new members must have their own motorcycles as a prerequisite. They must also be experienced riders or ideally be above beginner level. A motorcycling license is also a prerequisite.

“Before you officially join the group, we take you out on a fun ride to assess how you ride and also gel with the girls," Saforo said. "This is done like three times."

Charitable Ladies on the Bike

A group of women in bike group

Biker Girls Gh features bankers, content creators, electrical engineers, managing directors, and CEOs.

Photo Courtesy of Biker Girls Gh

A noticeable feature of the group is how most of the women come from different professional backgrounds. There are bankers, content creators, electrical engineers, managing directors, and CEOs. Targeting this peculiar bevy of ladies was deliberate for Saforo. She didn’t want to be like other groups, so standing out was imperative to the group.

“Being able to pull women from various spheres of life helps us and gives us the necessary leverage we need to move further,” she said.

The core objective of the group has always been about riding. But they have also embraced philanthropy. In 2019, they rode all the way from Accra to Prampram where they donated immensely to the Kinder Paradise Orphanage. In 2021, they paid the medical bills of women stuck in the hospital for owing medical fees and donated to prison inmates at Akuse who couldn’t afford healthy meals. They also collaborated with the “Kenkey for the Needy” project in 2022 to provide food for street kids in Accra.

Inspirational sisters spurring each other up

black women with mask

The core objective of Biker Girls Gh has always been about riding. But they have also embraced philanthropy.

Photo Courtesy of Biker Girls Gh

The camaraderie and sisterhood in the group is profound, which encapsulate a solid support system that inspire members to be the best versions of themselves.

“Ninety-five percent of the group are in leadership or mid-level roles in their respective careers,” Saforo said. “We have a WhatsApp group where we discuss socio-economic issues, sometimes issues concerning women just to stimulate the sisterhood. Once a month, we meet to have breakfast or lunch to catch up. We do acknowledge that times are hard in Ghana and everyone is struggling. Sometimes you don’t just want to text anything in a WhatsApp group but if you meet your sister you can tell her about it.”

Beyond that, personal friendships are also forming within the group which just firmly grounds the group the more. Biker Girls Gh are currently 17 women and Jessica iterates the fact that she doesn’t care about the number necessarily — all she strives for is quality in the group.

Idahams Wants to Soundtrack Life's Beauty & Battles

From the Island of Bonny to Lagos and now, the world, Idahams has a lot of stories to tell. We speak to him about his immersive and tender debut album, Truth, Love & Confessions.

The south got something to say. Actually, in the sprawling world of Nigerian pop, it has been speaking for a while now, with the likes of Rema, Omah Lay and Ajebo Hustlers riding on the region’s genre-fluid practices to popular acclaim. Another name in that conversation isIdahams, a producer and musician who recently released his debut album, Truth, Love & Confessions. It was a quiet Saturday when OkayAfrica recently spoke with him, discussing stories far broader than the thirteen songs which make up TLC.

“I wanted it to be a different one,” he says about his vision for the project. “Not like what we’ve heard before, you know, something people can always go back to when they want to be inspired, when they want to be emotional, something that can stand the test of time. I didn’t want the sound to be what we’ve heard in the past couple of years, so I took my time.”

Being a producer allows Idahams creative license, and he’s much involved in the sound of Trust, Love & Confessions, too. He usually sends sound frames of what he needs to his collaborating producers, and they work around that vision. “I’m always intentional when it comes to making a song,” he says, placing his potential listeners somewhere in that radar.

A shimmering emotional presence lies at the core of TLC. With its title preceding the ambition, the records are inspired by both true and fictional experiences, all rendered purposefully by Idahams’ fine knowledge of sound. From the glorious opener “Gratitude” which utilizes a church choir to the descriptions of a toxic relationship laden in “Hate That I Love,” the album’s themes follow a progressive path. The production is minimal and exquisite, carrying the personal convictions of Idahams with light, almost watery ease.

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