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AFRICAN GREATS

REMEMBERING &CELEBRATING THE LIFE OF OLIVER MTUKUDZI

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By Lincoln Majogo

The announcement of the passing on of Afro Jazz’s legend doctor Oliver Mtukudzi on the 23rd of January 2019 came not only as a stunning shock to many but as a moment of reflection and reverence towards the works of the late doctor Oliver Mtukudzi. What was it that made Tuku a legendary icon well respected across all boarders and sectors of society and at large the African continent. What was it that made the legend unanimously declared national hero? An icon of African heritage and culture, a human rights activist, a businessman, and a philanthropist. Tukus death left a permanent legacy of uniqueness and African beauty. We explore briefly into the life of a legend, Doctor Oliver Mtukudzi.

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Birth And Rise

Born in 1952, Tuku grew up in Highfield, a neighbourhood in the Zimbabwe capital city, Harare. Tuku joined the wagon wheels in 1977 alongside Thomas Mapfumo and fellow guitarist James Chimombe. It is said Tuku and his band faced huge financial constraints due to the colonial laws that suppressed black voices especially those that promoted black consciousness.

Some of the repressive laws barred black musicians from performing in certain bars with the exception of a club called Club Mutanga[PUNGWE] The crew nevertheless continued their pursuit of afro-centric music before releasing his debut album titled ‘DZANDIMOMOTERA’ which was dubbed a huge success. Who could have seen the rise and rise of the young man from the ghetto with a husky voice at a time who for then playing the guitars was regarded as ‘Hurombe’ by many? Tuku nevertheless pursued the path of musIc using it as an indispensable tool to reach across and spread the gospel of hope to the hopeless. Not only was Tuku’s music poetic but also reflections of the problems of his day. One of his familiar hits

Todii” released at the time when HIV and AIDS-ravaged across the families of Zimbabwe captured the pains and the struggles pf HIV and aids patients and sent an appeal to families to regularly go for pre-marital counselling.

Blood tests and health checks. Not only did Tuku champion and spread messages of hope but also shunned domestic violence. His hit ‘TOZEZA BABA’ captures at the heart of domestic violence its effects upon children and family relations.

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The hit ‘NERIA’ captures the struggles faced by women when their husbands die and send a message of courage to victims of such predicaments. Tukus music continued to dominate Afrocentric arenas leaving a permanent legacy of originality and African cultural pride. Embracing diversity, Tuku incorporated Shona, Ndebele and different other languages that connected well with the people of Zimbabwe and those around the world at large.

Known by many locals as a music hero, Tukus closest associates and cronies describe him as a humble man who related with any person despite age, race, color, skin or nationality. Tuku performed on several tours in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada, countries which all had huge crowd turnouts. In 2017 Mtukudzi performed at the wedding of Zimbabwean business tycoon Wicknell Chivayo.

Achievements And Accolades

In his entire lifetime, Tuku left a legacy of 66 albums. His debut album Dzandimomotera came in 1978 which is dubbed as a huge debut success. Tuku didn’t stop there, he relentlessly continued to produce more and more albums with songs filled with hope, inspiration, and wisdom. His songs are greatly known for preserving and protecting pan Africanist cultural values and norms and breaking boundaries of imperious orthodox traditional stigma. At the time of his death, Tuku was the United Nations Ambassador of Goodwill in Africa, a position he held since 2011. Tuku left a vestige of internationally and nationally recognized awards.

His awards include:

  • one of the best-selling artists in Zimbabwe 1985-1988
  • KORA Award for best arrangement in 2002 for ‘Ndakuwara’
  • 2002 SAMA Finalist [best Traditional/African Adult Contemporary DVD] live at the Cape Town Jazz Festival, National Arts Merits Awards[NAMA] in 2002 and 2004 for Best Group/Male Vocalist
  • KORA award for Best African Male Artist and Lifetime Achievement Award in August 2003,
  • Reel Award Winner for Best African Language in 2003
  • An Honorary Degree from the University of Zimbabwe in 2003
  • NAMA Award 2003
  • NAMA Award 2004
  • NAMA Award 2005
  • National Arts Personality of The Year
  • NAMA Award Outstanding Album[NHAVA]
  • 2006 ZIMA [Best Music Ringing Tone] ‘Handiro Dambudziko’
  • 2006 ZIMA(Music Ambassador)
  • NAMA Award 2007 Best Musician
  • 2007 Cultural Ambassador
  • 2008 NAMA Award Outstanding Musician
  • Honorary Msc (Fine Arts) degree awarded by the Women’s University in Africa in 2009
  • M-Net Best Soundtrack Award in 1992, for Neria
  • 2010 MTN SAMA Awards, 2010 University of Zimbabwe[UZ]
  • The International Council of African Womanism Award
  • 2011 Titled Zimbabwe’s First UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for Eastern and Southern Africa
  • 2011 Mtukudzi 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
  • 2014 Honorary Doctorate(PhD) International Institute of Philanthropy, 2014 Honorary Doctorate from Great Zimbabwe University[GZU]. Doctor of Philosophy in Ethnomusicology and Geography. His songs touched across to every part of the society, the young and the old found meaning and insight in all of his songs.

MARRIAGE & CHILDREN.

 Tuku’s first wife was Melody Murape. The two first met whilst melody was attending a concert by Oliver Mtukudzi and they fell in love. In 1979, the two tied the wedlock and stayed together until a divorce in 1993. Mtukudzi then married daisy whom he stayed with until her death. Mtukudzi was a father of 5 children and had 2 grandchildren to his name. Some of his children include Sam (late), Selmor and Sandra. In 2013 Tuku released an album titled ‘Sarawoga’ in tribute of his son, the late Sam Mtukudzi who perished in a road accident in 2010.

Sickness, Death, and Burial

Tuku died on the 23rd of January 2019 after his long battle with diabetes. The decision to bestow the National Hero Status by the Zimbabwean Government was unanimous with the president His Excellency Cde E.D Mnangagwa paying his tribute to the Mtukudzi family at their family home in Madziva. Upon his death over 100 musicians in Zimbabwe volunteered to sing for the cheerful crowds at the National sports stadium in Harare. Tuku is survived by his wife and 4 children.  

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#StudentShine

Zimbabwean Born Harvard Graduate Launches Hitch-Hiking App

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tuverl app

Hope was born and raised in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe and he did his A level at Mpopoma High School and O level at Ihlathi High School. Apart from his academic successes, he was also a multi National Chess Scholars Champion winner. Hope later on received a scholarship to go and study at the Harvard
University and just after college he went on to found Tuverl which has to date received several awards and recognition. They recently came out first at the Georgetown Africa Business Conference Pitch Competition which was
held in early February 2020 at Georgetown University in Washington DC. Tuverl also won the World Bank Youth Summit Pitch Competition in early December 2019 held at the World Bank Headquarters in Washington DC.

In mid-December 2019 Tuverl also won the YouthConnekt Sustainable Development Goals Video Competition. They have also participated in several pitch competitions, winning the Fan Favourite prize at the RevRoad Pitch Competition in Provo, Utah, and finishing 3rd place at the Harvard China Forum Pitch Competition in Cambridge, Massachusetts in early April 2019. Tuverl participated in the Mass Challenge Accelerator Boston Cohort in 2018 and were part 10th cohort of Halcyon Incubator Program from January – June 2019. Tuverl is also a recent Startup Battlefield 2020 finalist, the pitch competition was held virtually in September 2020.

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Problem Statement

It can’t be innovation without problem-solving and Turvel application is there to solve or address a wide range of problems. In most African countries, Public Transport is an industry that is run by private companies; millions of small to medium enterprises and individuals, whose buses, minibusses, and individual cars operate without any schedules or timetables. This makes Public Transport very unreliable to commuters, who lose valuable productive time while waiting for transportation or in transit, as a result. Drivers also waste time, fuel, and man-hours trying to locate
commuters along their designated routes or park in one place waiting for commuters to find them.

This is highly inefficient. The Covid-19 era came with new and many
challenges for commuters as Public Transportation was grounded by the government to minimize non-essential movement and reduce the risk of exposing the public to the Coronavirus. This left people who do not own their own personal vehicles with few to no options for safe essential travel.


While some have welcomed the reintroduction of ZUPCO as the sole provider of Public Transport, there have numerous complaints about long lines at bus stops, too few buses in circulation, and the general lack of social distancing while in transit.

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Solution

After assessing these challenges in the 1st few months of the covid19 pandemic, Tuverl went on to develop its intercity carpooling service that is meant to make travelling safer, easier and cheaper during the Covid19 pandemic. After downloading and signing up on the Tuverl App, commuters can search for peer-to-peer trips that originate from a city or town of their choosing to another city or town in Zimbabwe. They can pay for these trips using mobile money payments, such as Ecocash, OneMoney and Telecash.

We plan to support more payment methods in due course. On the Tuverl App, users who have their own personal vehicles can register to be drivers.
Once registration is complete and their profiles have been verified, drivers can create trips from one city or town to another. Drivers have control over the pricing of the available seats in their vehicles. As such drivers can make
extra money during a trip they were already planning to make. Picking up passengers along the road, when drivers travel on pre-planned trips between cities and towns is an old practice. Most Zimbabwean commuters know this as hitchhiking or simply hiking.

Tuverl has found a way to make it a lot easier for drivers to find commuters or passengers, by adding a technology layer that makes it faster for drivers to connect with commuters. As the economy opens up, Lockdown regulations are relaxed, and travel restrictions are removed, it is important to give commuters more options for travelling safely. Commuters and drivers can download the Tuverl App on the following links.
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?
id=com.tuverl.android .

People who are interested in our work can follow
us on the following links.
Website: http://wwww.tuverl.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tuverl
Twitter: https://twitter.com/tuverl
Google Play Store: https://play.google.com/
store/apps/details?id=com.tuverl.android

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SUCCESS STORIES

Interview With Princewell ‘The Roadrunner Farmer’

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Roadrunner farmer

In the words of Arthur Ashe, “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”, Princewell is one man living and putting to test these words by taking his passion in poultry farming into a test. Princewell (PW) is always there on Twitter mostly sharing his story, pictures, and updates on his roadrunner farming, something which has helped market his business and inspire someone out there. Coach Mallvine (CM), our Productions Manager, caught up with Princewell for an online interview, and below is how it went along. Enjoy the interview and don’t forget to subscribe to stay tuned for more interviews and updates.

CM: Please introduce yourself to our readers.

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PW: Real name Terence Maphosa, a young passionate roadrunner Farmer in his late 30s.

CM: What brought you into farming?

PW: On this one there are a lot of reasons:

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  1. Availability of idleness in my rural area which I saw as a chance to put up something productive and since I had no water, the only idea that looked feasible out of the many I had was road runners.
  2. Passion for roadrunners, before these exotic breeds I was doing the ordinary kumusha roadrunners. So, it became a transition into something catchy more advanced on a larger scale.
  3. Roadrunner farming is not congested that much so, I saw an opportunity that I could use and it worked perfectly.

CM: How big is your farm and what are you currently farming?

PW: This is not a “Farm” as you might call it. It is a resettlement area, but I have a good space which is up to 6 hectares for the chickens and 5hectares for crop farming. It is located in Mhondoro Ngezi. For the crops, I focus mainly on maize, sunflower, soya, and sorghum. These crops reduce the costs of buying feeds.

CM: When did you started the chicken business?

PW: I started in November 2017.

CM: Tell us the types of chickens you sell.

PW: I have 5 breeds that I selected on basis of their different strengths and purposes. Black Australorp (a machine at laying eggs), Koekoek (good at eggs as well), Light Sussex (Both meat and eggs), Kuroila (Meat Master….weighs heavy), Jersey Giant (Meat Master). I have a 6th which is the Buff Orpington but I see it is as a flower that I like seeing around.

CM: Which is the best chicken breeds to keep and why?

PW: Black Australorp, Chicken business needs a bird that lays more so that you minimize the costs. It grows big as well and that will make it marketable for meat. However, I should point out that it differs with farmer’s preferences and also some parts of the community have certain beliefs attached to a black chicken. In that case the Koekoek will come second.

CM: How many hours do you work per day and what is your typical day like?

PW: Roadrunner farming needs all day attention. Feeding, giving medicines to the ones that are sick, cleaning food troughs, etc.

CM: Has it been viewed as more of a business for you or a lifestyle choice? Some combination of both?

PW: To be honest, it started as a business but it grew to be at the heart of my lifestyle. I woke up every day feeling proud of being a roadrunner. So, now I live in the roadrunner business.

CM: What is the most satisfying part of farming for you?

PW: The most satisfying part is having a product that the market has approved and is confident. That alone will give you extra energy to work even harder.

roadrunner farming

CM: What motivates you and how do you deal with negativity and any feeling of giving up?

PW: The greatest motivation is me, I look back and say, I cannot go back to the past life, so the only option is to push. Negativity will always be there and some will even destroy your brand but I always try to engage those who think I went off rail or I didn’t offer a good service. The problem is, people usually appreciate through hate. They hate what they like. So the best way is to engage and find a solution.

CM: What is your current take on youth participation in agriculture and how best can they become effective and active participants in this industry?

PW: Youth out there are desiring to go all out for farming but access to land and capital hinders a lot of us to participate in farming. We have the zeal but we don’t have a chance to express it. The government must identify youth with potential and empower them with ideas and inputs. Without that, farming will remain a thing of an idea to youth.

CM: Have you benefitted from any government or social programs to boost your agriculture business, if not are you looking forward to any?

PW: No. Not as of yet. If the help comes I will take it with both hands. I’m a citizen of the country and if the government sees it fit, I will take them and utilize them without fail.

CM: Many a time, access to finance and support systems are usually not in favor of subsistence farmers. How do you think the situation can be improved and work to boost and support the subsistence farmer?

PW: I am one of the subsistence farmers in Zimbabwe and I am thriving on the small space that I have. So the government may also consider looking into aiding us to boost our projects from the small pieces of land that we have.

CM: With regards to the market and marketing, how responsive has it been, and how you have been effectively marketing your business?

PW: Honestly, Twitter has been the base for my customers. All referrals and recommendations are mostly coming from Twitter. The key is being consistent and not supplying wrong or fake products. As far as to this level, the market has been quite fair to me. I market my chocks on social platforms that are, Facebook, WhatsApp, and Twitter. This is done by me and the aid of all people reading this interview.

CM: Tell us, how is the chicken Market in Zimbabwe and how can we improve our Chicken’s quality?

PW: The chicken business in Zimbabwe has always been there and it was more of broiler productions but the roadrunner business is of growth over the past 5 to 6 years. The marker is high because people are slowly moving to organic meat which I assume will overtake the broiler business in no time. However, we must reach a level of making our own breeds named after us, and unique breeds registered from Zimbabwe. We are focusing on importing breeds from other countries, yet, we cannot make our own. It is my dream that I will see that wish be of reality.

CM: What has been our greatest obstacle in your hustle and how did you manage to overcome that?

PW: My greatest obstacle has been on feed. Generally, feed in Zimbabwe is expensive and the profit margin is thin, so, for a farmer starting to grow it becomes a great challenge. However, planting your feed has been the solution and as for now I have no complaints.

CM: Any mistakes you have made in farming that you regret or have managed to learn from?

PW: My greatest mistake was in 2018 when I almost sold all my chickens due to frustration.  The market was not giving a favorable response and I sold a lot of birds. Later the market gave a positive response when I was almost giving up. It is now a story of the past and I learnt the virtue of patience. Every farmer out there must know, as long as you have a good product, people will buy no matter what.

CM: What advice can you give to the chicken farmer out there who is also looking forward to growing their farming too?

PW: To the small farmer out there; take your time to set your things, there is no competition in farming, the industry is not flooded, market is there go to the drawing board and set your things in the right place then come out with guns blazing and grow big. Whatever line you take in farming, just push to have the best product and remember, “honesty” is key.  Have good breeds that are compatible with any environment. It is not about having many breeds but the type of a breed.

CM: What are the keys to success in farming, particularly the poultry business?

PW: Have the best products, be honest, transparent, deliver, and lastly, work hard.

CM: Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?

PW: In 5 years to come I will be in the process of perfecting my own breeds and constantly supplying roadrunner meat.

CM: Where can people find you?

PW: I am based in Harare and as for my project it is in Mhondoro Ngezi.

CM: How do you see your role in the community?

PW: I see myself in the sense of a role model. With the growth in business follows a bit of dignity and responsibility. People expect much and you to act a certain way. Therefore, I accept that because some will be looking up to me as a role model it becomes my role in the community.

CM: Please give us your social media pages.

Facebook: Prince Machiavelli Chickens; Twitter: @terrymap1

Website: www.machiavelliprince.co.zw

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AFRICAN GREATS

Winky D Wins ‘Best Dancehall Artist Award’

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Winky D born Wallace Chirumiko has won the Best Dancehall Artist 2020 Award at the African Entertainment Awards United States of America (AEAUSA). In the same awards there were 3 other Zimbabwean artistes who were battling it out with other prominent African artistes. Jah Pryzah was in the Entertainer of the Year category, Shasha in the Best Female Artiste and last but not least Winky D in Best Dancehall Artiste one which he has tonight emerged the winner. Winky was battling it out in the same category with Patoranking and many others.

The AEAUSA awards ceremony is held annually since 2015 in New Jersey with 30 awards being presented to various artist across the continent with the mission to support, celebrate and uplift African Entertainment.

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Winky Dee has also released new songs, “Ragga Musambo”, “Reply” and “David and Goliath” which have been the talk of the streets as they are received with divided opinions. One thing for sure is Winky is still one of the greatest artiste in Zimbabwe and still commands a lot of loyalty and support from his raving supporters and general audience at large. At the time of writing this article the , “Reply” is trending at Number 2 and at 380 000 views on Youtube , 3 days just after release.

Congratulations to Winky Dee and all the Gaffa family.

Thank you for bringing the award home.

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