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Mixed feelings over Tuku national day proposal

Seasoned music producer, composer and guitarist Clive ‘‘Mono’’ Mukundu has sparked a debate on social media after he suggested that the country honours the late music superstar Dr Oliver Mtukudzi with a national day dedicated to him.Some contributors applauded the idea, saying it needed to be taken to relative authorities for discussion and endorsement.

Others scoffed at the idea, arguing that it will raise unnecessary tiff with other artistes’ families, who would feel they too deserved a national day.One of Mukundu’s social media followers said, “This is nonsense Mukundu. We have lost so many good musicians . . . if all of them get national days, we will have the whole calendar filled.”But Patience Musandirire concurred with Mono, saying it was a noble idea because Mtukudzi was a distinct musician.

“Though there have been many musicians who deserve accolades in the way they progressed their art, but no doubt Tuku was a step ahead as he wore ‘a coat of many colours’. He was a cut above the rest,” she said.Malvin Soko of Chitungwiza said there was nothing wrong in honouring Tuku with a national day.“I agree with Mono Mukundu because Tuku was a national treasure who inspired many generations,” he said. “It would be ideal to have a day set aside to remember him.”

Another fan commented; “Yes, Tuku’s level was something else, but also Tongai Moyo’s funeral was well attended, maybe that is why some people are disputing Mono’s idea on why only Tuku, yet we have a lot of other artistes.“Is it because Tuku was internationally known or had inspired Mono? But I don’t see any problem.”

In an interview with The Herald Arts, Mukundu said the idea came to mind after he was invited to Tuku’s first posthumous birthday celebration which were held last Friday.“I was chuffed and thought at the same time why can’t we have a national day for the late legend? I thought of this idea when I was invited to the private posthumous birthday celebration of the late icon,” said Mukundu“I then did a research and discovered that not only do other countries celebrate their legends’ birthdays, they actually reserve days to commemorate them.”Mukundu said it was possible to have a national day reserved for Mtukudzi.

“In Jamaica, the late Bob Marley’s birthday was declared as Bob Marley Day in 1990. In 2018, the mayor of Toronto in Canada also declared February 6 as Bob Marley Day.

“Considering what Tuku contributed to Zimbabwe, Africa and the world at large, it would be proper to have an Oliver Mtukudzi Day. Having celebrated heroes contributes to patriotism.“I believe having celebrated role models helps to increase patriotism and national self-worth. I don’t under-value other late legends, but no other local artiste so far reached the levels that Tuku reached.“That is why he is the only Zimbabwean whose funeral filled up the National Sports Stadium. He is the only Zimbabwean musician that I know who was occasionally received like a head of state in some countries, sometimes with a police escort too.“Remember in 2011 it was even suggested that he be given a diplomatic passport, although it was never fulfilled.”

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