The prolific songwriter, guitarist and performer, who turns 59 in September, is combining a homecoming party on Friday night, at the Harare International Conference Centre, with the launch of his latest release titled Rudaviro which goes on sale at the concert.
Tuku has been away for nearly three months performing in the United States, South America and the UK and has crafted Friday’s show to be a two-in-one party where he launches Rudaviro and also celebrates his homecoming.
Rudaviro features 12 tracks nearly all of them socially edifying compositions that mirror daily life experiences but also carrying heavily veiled political messages typical of Tuku’s metaphoric approach to political issues.
Some of the tracks include Mukana, Going on…what?, Rangu Jana, Wamambo Mwana, Kure Kwazvo and Chiro Chakanaka.
Says Tuku about Rudaviro: “This offering is my pride of African traditional instruments. A fusion of the flavours of the mbira, a thumb piano played in a calabash, the acoustic flavor of wooden marimba and the resounding flavour of skin-top ngoma complementing beautifully to bring out the inner feeling of who we are…African. I want to believe that as you listen you will find a word or two, a line or two, a song or two, that will touch your heart.”
Initially Tuku meant to release Rudaviro last year but withheld the album and instead released his late son Sam’s posthumous CD, Cheziya.
Rudaviro clearly puts Tuku in a class of his own in Zimbabwe’s music recording history where he has outclassed his peers including veteran chimurenga music exponent Thomas Mapfumo.
According to Mapfumo’s official discography, posted on the internet, the outspoken musician, living in self-imposed exile in the United States, has 33 albums to his credit among them the hard-hitting Rise Up, Chimurenga Explosion, Hokoyo, Hondo and Toi Toi.
Tuku also made history, in Zimbabwe’s music and entertainment sectors, when he became the first musician to record a live album, Live at Sakubva, in 1989. He went on to maintain his lead in live recordings with numerous albums including The Other Side – Live in Switzerland and Live in San Francisco.
Tuku’s first album Ndipeiwo Zano was released in 1978 and was followed at independence from Britain in 1980 with the likes of Africa and other releases including Son of Africa, Neria Soundtrack, Tuku Music, Rongai Mhuri, Muroyi Ndiani? and Bvuma-Tolerance.