Sophia Chese Arts Correspondent—
Legendary musician Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi was presented with another Lifetime Achievement Award by NTM Global Promotions in conjunction with the Association of Zimbabweans in Calgary, Canada. He was presented the award before his performance in Calgary last Sunday by Jason Luan, member of the Legislative Assembly for Calgary Hawkwood, on behalf of NTM Global Promotions and the Association of Zimbabweans in Calgary.
In an interview with The Herald Entertainment, NTM Global Promotions spokesperson Joe Kundishora said they decided to honour Mtukudzi after looking at a number of things concerning the musician’s contribution to the industry.
“Tuku has played an important role in putting our country’s name on the international map through music, so we looked at different things including his role in establishing Pakare Paye Arts Centre to help the talented youths,
“We also looked at his consistency in producing music that encourages self-discipline, raising Zimbabwe’s flag so high in many countries he visits and his role in UNICEF as the Goodwill Ambassador,” he said.
He also added that the musician, who performed at The Flames Central in Calgary on the night, put up a sterling performance that left the crowd clamouring for more.
“I would also want to thank Tuku and his band The Black Spirits for an amazing performance. They played for more than two hours belting out hit after hit, and the crowd could not get enough of him.
“We are looking forward to inviting him again in the near future because he is now in demand,” he said.
Tuku has amassed more than 25 local and international awards to date.
Among the awards are three honorary degrees. In 2003, he received an Honorary Arts degree from the University of Zimbabwe in recognition of his illustrious four- decade-long music career which has inspired Zimbabwean artistes to use local influences in their work.
He was also awarded with two doctorates last year – the Honorary Doctorate International Institute of Philanthropy and Honorary Doctorate from Great Zimbabwe University. He was also honoured with a Doctor of Philosophy in Ethnomusicology & Choreography (Honoris Causa).
The 63-year-old music superstar earned an MSc Fine Arts Degree six years after his first honorary degree for being arguably the most powerful creative force to emerge from Zimbabwe in the last three decades.
In 2011 he was honoured by the Government of Italy with the prestigious Cavaliere of the Order of Merit Award in recognition of his work as an international musician. (The award is equivalent to the a knighthood in England).
He was also presented with a Kora Award for Best African Male Artiste and Lifetime Achievement Award in August 2003 and Reel Award winner for Best African Language in 2003.
Locally, he has bagged numerous accolades at the National Arts Merit Awards and last year he announced that he will not be taking part in the Zimbabwe Music Awards in order to give room to others whom he believes he had inspired and mentored to contest.
Tuku is expected back in the country from Canada today.