Legendary Zimbabwean jazz musician and producer Kelly Rusike has passed away at the age of 59 after battling diabetes.
Rusike died on Wednesday evening at his home in Harare. His son Cole confirmed the sad news and said funeral arrangements will be announced soon.
Rusike released albums and singles with his brothers under the group The Rusike Brothers who were popular in the 90s. He performed for European royalty and shared the stage with music legends like Oliver Mtukudzi, Jimi Dludlu and Rozalla Miller.
Rusike owned Shed Studios which produced music, ads and jingles.
The arts community expressed sadness at Rusike’s passing:
- Jazz artistic director Filbert Marova called Rusike a professional jazz artist and bassist who contributed immensely to Zimbabwe’s music sector. They worked together in The Rusike Brothers and Jazz Invitation.
- Journalist Garikai Mazara described Rusike as a force, recalling The Rusike Brothers’ popularity in the 80s and 90s. Though they didn’t produce much recorded music, they were well known for their Ngwerewere sadza advert.
- Actress Jules Julie Sandi said Rusike was not only a good friend but convinced her to do her first TV ad. She said this is a sad time and offered condolences to Rusike’s family and fans.