After a long battle with diabetes, Oliver Mtukudzi made his last bow on Monday 23. The 66-year old afro-jazz musician started his music career in the 1970s as one of the voices against colonialism. Most of his songs carry social messages about issues such as HIV and politics. The celebrated musician has over 67 albums. There are so many lessons we can learn from his long music career among them:
Use your talent to inspire others
Mtukudzi used his talent to inspire upcoming musicians. Musicians from all over the world have paid their tributes to him, terming him as a father figure, a giant in the music industry and a hero.
Don’t be afraid of airing out issues affecting people
Mtukudzi never shied away from issues affecting his people. He knew when to praise and when to criticize. Neria, one of his most famous songs was a plight against customary rules that prohibit a woman from inheriting her husband’s property when he passes on.
Different is good
In a past interview, Mtukudzi was reported saying, “I looked for a sound the guitar couldn’t make in a guitar. That is how I learned to play the guitar.” His music, a mix of Afro, Jazz, and some South African music traditions is a proof that different is good.
Even when most African musicians bowed to the western culture influence in their songs, Mtukudzi never changed his Tuku style. Yet this did not dim his bright talent. He continued to make hit after hit. It does not matter if everyone else is going to the left, stick to your lane. Do what you know best, how you know best.
A hero has fallen, yet he his legacy will live on.