As the light dipped in the huge hall, the audience went silent, in anticipation of the performance by the hundreds of young pupils lining up three rows in front of Beit Hall at Eaglesvale Junior School in Harare.


The event, held last Tuesday, was like no other, a music fete to remember the music icon Oliver Mtukudzi who died in January this year, and it was these hundreds of Eaglesvale pupils who were to lead the event in song.

The crowd, largely made up of parents and children, awaited in huge anticipation as the choir conductor made the countdown.

Their first song was a choral version of Tuku’s Tiregererei track and the mass choir effect enhanced by the walls of the hall, permeated through the entire arena, creating an aura of spiritualism so deep that one would have imagined Tuku was listening from the heavens.

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The children’s voices were almost like angels, high notes soaring over the clouds, graceful notes dancing on the staves as they sang for Tuku.

There was a deep track that carries a powerful social message about the suffering of the people and the plea for divine intervention and forgiveness from our ancestors, Tiregererei on a choral tip sung by beautiful innocent voices. This sounded so much like a plea at a time when Zimbabwe is facing economic difficulties.

And this is what Tuku was all about, an artiste whose music always carried deep and sometimes hidden messages of the social, economic and sometimes political issues of the time.

To perfect the line-up, the children sang Pindurai Mambo next, another powerful prayer in times of trouble, and befittingly followed it up with Help Me Lord.

It did not end there as the children went to sing cover versions of Tuku’s songs in different styles and by the end of the concert, there was no doubt, Tuku’s spirit lives on. The commemoration by Eaglesvale just managed to reaffirm the immortality of Tuku music and its effect in Zimbabwe and outside.

The mesmerised audience, who included Tuku’s daughter, Sandra, sang along and applauded throughout the concert.

Far from the music, a painting of Tuku was auctioned for ZWL$6000, also affirming Tuku’s influence in all forms of art.