Knives out for Selmor Mtukudzi

The Sunday Mail

Prince Mushawevato
Even with the spirit of Easter in the air, it seems there is no let-up in the acrimony within the late music superstar and national hero Dr Oliver Mtukudzi’s family.

Selmor Mtukudzi, daughter to the celebrated musician, currently finds herself between a rock and a hard place.

Knives are out for the “Nguva Yangu” hitmaker.

A fresh statement — ostensibly targeted at Selmor’s recent strides to keep her father’s legacy alive — has started circulating on various social media platforms.

“We would like to distance ourselves from any events or gatherings that are being held for Mtukudzi as a family as we are still grieving. It is not going well with our family to realise that there are various individuals out there who are now cashing in because of our loss. We officially announce that there is no event or initiative that is being blessed or initiated by the family as of now.”

The statement follows last weeks’ healthy start to Selmor’s “KwaTuku” gigs, which are scheduled to be held every month around the country.

It, however, sounds more like an edited version of an initial one that was released in February when Selmor was organising the March 29 “Dr Tuku Commemoration” gig. The only difference is that this time around it does not appear on the Tuku Music Official Facebook page.

Probably this is because last time it attracted a heavy backlash, especially on Daisy. Selmor is currently aggressively pushing for the legacy of her father’s music. But this has attracted unwanted attention from Daisy’s camp, which want her to stop the “KwaTuku” initiative.

What boggles the mind though is the fact that since Dr Tuku’s death on January 23, Pakare Paye has hosted tribute gigs led by artistes like Jah Prayzah, Dr Thomas Mapfumo and Ashton “Mbeu” Nyahora.

In fact, it is business as usual at Pakare Paye, yet they want Selmor, who is equally family, to take a sabbatical.

Anointing

It appears Selmor is now seeking divine intervention to find her way.

The “Hangasa” singer was spotted receiving some form of anointing from Prophet Emmanuel Makandiwa at his church last Sunday. She is a member of the church together with her husband Tendai Manatsa and sister Sandra

The United Family International Church (UFIC) leader momentarily asked Selmor to hold his microphone to wild applause from congregants.

Many congregants felt Prophet Makandiwa’s gesture meant Selmor’s future would be bright.

“…there are challenges but things will shape up with time. We had a good crowd and I am told we actually ran out of parking space. We intend to continue doing ‘KwaTuku’ shows every month, taking the concept around Zimbabwe and we pray God will assist us in overcoming hurdles,” said Selmor as she commented on the last show.

Efforts to contact Tuku Music manager Mr Walter Wanyanya over the fresh statement were unsuccessful by the time of going to print.

The question of who should take over the mantle after Dr Tuku’s demise is still dominating public debate.

However, names of Daisy, her daughter Samantha and Selmor are being floated around.

But it is understood that Daisy has been rooting for her two daughters – Samantha and Faith Kadzura, her eldest daughter sired before she met Mtukudzi – to take over the late musician’s vast empire.

Samantha, who had long returned from her base in South Africa, was roped into the Black Spirits as a backing vocalist.

Faith, who previously sold music CDs and other Tuku Music merchandise, took over running of Pakare Paye Arts Centre after Watson Chidzomba, who used to oversee the place, fell out of favour with Daisy.

Today, Daisy and her two daughters run Dr Tuku’s sprawling business enterprise, which boasts of restaurants, boutiques, recording studios, extensive gardens suitable for weddings and outdoor activities, health spars, hair saloon, conferencing facilities, auditoriums and five-star accommodation.

Dr Tuku himself was never too harsh with his daughters.

He even gave Selmor’s 11-year-old son, Tinaye Ben Manatsa, a deathbed gift in the form of a Tanglewood Acoustic Guitar, a high-end British professional music instrument whose value is more than £400.

Music critics, however, argue that there is still one stubborn fact: neither Daisy nor Samantha are as gifted as Selmor, musically.

The duohad to rope in Mbeu to lead the Black Spirits in Cape Town, South Africa, last month.

However, Daisy had a stint in the studio and on stage with Dr Tuku, while Samantha toured with her dad in his last days.