Oliver Mtukudzi - Basic Biography:
Oliver Mtukudzi was born September 22, 1952, in Harare, Zimbabwe. Mtukudzi, or "Tuku," as he is known by his adoring fans, is a superstar in Zimbabwe (where he still resides) and a household name throughout Africa. Oliver Mtukudzi is married and the father of five, including Sam Mtukudzi, who was killed in a tragic car accident in 2010.
Oliver Mtukudzi's sound, a blend of traditional East African genres and modern subgenres of Afropop, including chimurenga and JIT, is known as "Tuku Music." Mtukudzi is a songwriter and a guitar player, and is well-known for his graceful onstage dance moves, which he performs while playing.
Oliver Mtukudzi first recorded in the 1970s (when Zimbabwe was still known as Rhodesia and under white control) with a band called Wagon Wheels, which featured his fellow Zimbabwean superstar Thomas Mapfumo. Later, he started his own group, Black Spirits, with whom he still plays. With Black Spirits, Tuku has released over 30 full-length albums and several compilations, is a household name in Zimbabwe and South Africa, and is quite well-known throughout Africa.
Social Messages in Oliver Mtukudzi's Music:
Oliver Mtukudzi's music frequently tackles social issues, particularly poverty and the AIDS epidemic that is responsible for so much misery in Africa. He does not directly criticize President Robert Mugabe (Thomas Mapfumo's regular critique of Mugabe's regime put him into exile), though he will sing indirectly about the conditions that some of Mugabe's policies cause.