8 TheStandard September 14 to 20 2014 Local News Tuku and daughter Selmor in happier times. Picture: Shepherd Mutamba ‘Mtukudzi disowns daughter’ Selmor Mtukudzi . . . she is not on talking terms with her famous father An upcoming book revealing sensational secrets of Zimbabwe’s international music legend Oliver Mtukudzi sheds light on the musician’s strained relationship with his daughter, Selmor, also a singer. Titled Tuku Backstage and set to be published before the end of the year, the book was written by Tuku’s former publicist and journalist, Shepherd Mutamba. Extracts from a chapter “Daughters” exclusively made available to TheStandard reveal how the relationship between Tuku and his daughters, Selmor and Sandra, from his first marriage to Melody Murape, had collapsed irretrievably after Selmor (31) made sensational accusations in the media, in 2012, that the superstar was a neglectful father. She said if Tuku was supportive, she would have been somewhere in life. We publish the extracts below where Selmor’s comments provoked Tuku’s wrath in the explosive book: Selmor’s remarks devastated Tuku, he did not see the comments coming. He never envisaged his daughter sharing, with the whole world, her opinion of him. I met many people who, after reading Selmor’s story, thought Tuku was just a pretentious father who does not apply the same family values that he espouses in most of his own music. Others viewed him as a greedy and despicable father deserving public humiliation and posted comments on social networks supporting Selmor. Others who actually deify Tuku did not know what to say about the man. After his daughter’s remarks, were splashed in the media, Tuku stopped eating well, for several days, sometimes skipping breakfast and lunch altogether and surviving only on one meal a day — supper. His health took a serious battering but he forced himself to work and fulfill prior bookings for shows. Tuku has a history of intestinal ulcers, that relapsed with serious intensity, most likely triggered by worry and the eating disorder. At breakfast, in nyanga, (for a show) Tuku did not finish just a single egg and settled for a tiny glass of fruit juice after Daisy (Tuku’s wife) insisted that he took something at least. That drink was all he had and nothing at lunch. His diabetic condition deteriorated. His state of health required hospital admission and weeks of rest After reading Selmor’s story, many people thought Tuku was just a pretentious father who does not apply the same family values that he espouses in most of his own music from work to recuperate. His body was frail, his face evidently emaciated. He became skeletal like the Auschwitz survivors. Everyone seemed to annoy him. The relationship with his daughter had collapsed. Below Tuku comments publicly, for the first time, in the book, on the state of relationship with his daughters, particularly Selmor: “I have disowned her (Selmor) because she is not my daughter. If she was my daughter she would not say such bad things about me. none of what she says is true. And what makes her say those things now? If she had issues with me she must have talked to me as family and not having to go to the press. I think she hates me so badly she wishes that I die. “I am hurt to the core of my heart. I did my part as a parent and sent her to school and supported her musical career, even playing with her in my own band and taking her on tour overseas, not because she was good but I wanted to promote her career and inviting her to many of my events to enable her to work and earn a living.” Tuku Backstage also reveals the failed relationship between Tuku and his first born daughter, Sandra (35), who does not have very kind words, in the book, for the music icon who turns 62 next week and set to release his 63 rd album soon.
Local News TheStandard September 14 to 20 2014 9 The making of Tuku Backstage TUKU Backstage, to be published before the end of the year, cross pollinates several genres; biography, criticism and photography steeped in the music and life of Oliver Mtukudzi, aka Tuku. The book, also recollects some of the author’s own memoirs from life and work experience. “From where I stood as Tuku’s long-serving publicist, the book inevitably finds itself criticising the man and his character. I frankly articulate my thoughts about Tuku’s contradicting personality but I also pay very special attention and tribute to his honest music. I devoted many different chapters to his art and creativity,” said Mutamba. “People love Tuku’s music, especially the different ways that the music touches our hearts. But if fans have the opportunity they would also love to read about the inner personality behind the great music. And so the book unravels Tuku’s life and secrets, his failed first marriage, relationships, the fights with his wife Daisy and the squabbles with his daughters, including the question of the alleged love-child, a son called Selby and a daughter born outside wedlock, Sybil, for whom he eventually admitted paternity. “But the book also covers Tuku’s philanthropic work and his humble beginnings in life and in music, plus the evolution of the music and its significance and relevance in traditional and contemporary cultures. I write about his days, as a young boy, in the rural areas where he was helped to shape some of his perspectives about life and the melodies that we now know as Tuku Music. Over 20 chapters are devoted to Tuku’s many different aspects of his music and creativity. “In other words, one gets, from the book, a view of what is held back about Tuku and discusses what is rarely conversed about his great music. That is why I titled the book, Tuku Backstage, because it explores issues tucked away behind the scenes and beyond what is ordinarily known.” “The book traverses through the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s to this day. People look at Tuku for his music, they also look at him for his moral and ethical values as an icon. Does he personify his didactic music? Does he have to? Tuku Backstage converses with the man’s dreams, successes, adversities but also his moral and ethical challenges, the relevance of his music in diverse cultures, education, politics, spiritualism and social cohesion,” said Mutamba. The book features 200 exclusive pictures shot by the author, exploding with Tuku’s untold emotion on and off stage and giving readers a rare glimpse into his intensely private life. “Pictures are vital in the narrative of Tuku’s music and life. In other words, photography reinforces the book substantially. What my pen missed, photography captured far more accurately and honestly than words. I photographed all the pictures in the book in Zimbabwe and away seeing things through my own eyes. Photography stimulated my thoughts, complementing the trajectory of my writing with fulfilling perspective, relevance and presentation. I attempted to use photography to memorialise Tuku at the level of his music.” Mutamba said it was not easy writing because some of the people, close to Tuku’s early years and work and would have reinforced the book, did not want to talk. Some who spoke did not inspire the author. “But that did not stop the book because Tuku himself said I should write. I spent two years on research, interviews, photography and of course listening to his music day and night. Three years went into drafting, writing, editing and production.” Tuku on stage. Picture: Shepherd Mutamba Shepherd Mutamba . . . authored Tuku Backstage