Oliver Mtukudzi’s passing really had me in my feels all week long. I was emo for various reasons. The main one being that Zimbabwean president Emmerson Mnangagwa declared Tuku a national hero.
Tuku had to die to be recognised as a national hero. Why do we wait until someone passes to cement their legendary status? Surely, we want the person in question to know that their people appreciate their efforts while they are still alive. To my surprise, Tuku was the first musician to be bestowed with this honour. Reports are that this honour is historically reserved for politicians and army generals. Zimbabwe, a great nation of so many dead or alive in arts? From poets, an actor, musicians to radio presenters and Tuku is the first.
I highlight this because it really is no different to the Land of the Brave. We have so many legends that have passed on but until this day have never officially been recognised as heroes by the powers that be. Most importantly, we have living legends in our midst but nobody gives a rat’s ass about them. Most of the living legends in the country are barely making a living.
The painful truth is most of our living legends will die penniless. Why do we, as a nation want that to happen to our living legends? Legends that our parents grew up listening to. Legends whose music was so popular that it spilled over into the born free generation. We need to start honouring the few legends that are still around today! Why do we want to wait until they pass on? Good riddance or what?
It starts with everyone. From the people in power, to the media, DJs and fans. Etse I recently played an Erick Mahua number at the Boiler room (Warehouse) and people almost lost their minds. People literally went crazy! This is what I am talking about. What can you do in your capacity to honour a living legend? It does not have to be music. There are living legends in all forms of art. Actors, poets, song writers, Dj’s etc.
As for the powers that be, our living legends need you now more than ever. Do not wait for them to pass to honour them.
Until the next loop, we say “GMTM”!
NSK is a professional MC. For bookings, email firstname.lastname@example.org
New Era Reporter
2019-02-01 10:18:15 2 months ago