WHILE Zimbabweans from all spheres of life have for the past four months been eagerly awaiting the late music superstar Oliver Mtukudzi aka Tuku’s final will, revelations by the late national hero as published in a book “Tuku Backstage” by his long-time publicist and veteran journalist, Shepherd Mutamba seem to have come to pass.
Reports that a Harare law firm recently filed with the Master of High Court, Tuku’s final will bequeathing all movable and immovable property to surviving spouse Daisy Kudzai Mtukudzi while leaving out all his children has stirred debate.
“I (Mtukudzi) hereby bequeath all my properties, share and shares in any company or companies or entities to my wife, Daisy Kudzai Mtukudzi born on the second of February 1959,” reads the will.
At the time of his death Tuku left behind four daughters; Selmor, Samantha, Sandra and Sybil.
Samantha, the only daughter of Daisy and Tuku, looks like she will enjoy a slice of the cake.
According to the will, the immovable properties declared by Daisy in the inventory include: Original deed of transfer number 0009820/2003 in favour of Samantha and Oliver Mtukudzi.
Mutamba told Arts Watch this week: “I was certain in the book that Tuku wouldn’t bequeath anything to Sandra and Selmor because I was an insider and knew what was going on deep down in his family.
“I sat next to Tuku in the meetings where he met other peacemakers to discuss his issues with his daughters and the intense dislike that time that he showed for his two daughters didn’t leave me with any doubt that if he died, he wouldn’t include them in his will.
“You don’t bequeath anything to those you dislike, do you? In one meeting, with a girl child NGO, Tuku recorded everything on his tape recorder and he was saying that his wealth was his and for his wife Daisy alone.
“He had so much hatred for his daughters that it would bring even Satan to tears. But if his son Sam was alive I bet he would have helped ease the tension. That boy was ahead of his time.”
Mtukudzi’s union with Daisy produced Samantha who was born in 1982.
Tuku’s courtship with Daisy, as revealed in the book, developed into marriage but his first wife Melody refused to be in a polygamous union and filed for divorce in 1986 which was eventually granted by the courts only in 1993, seven years later.
Tuku and Daisy also had a son, Sam who died in a car accident.
In his intriguing 300-page no-holds barred book written over five years and comprising 25 chapters and 200 pictures never published before, Mutamba opinions on page 66 of the first edition in 2015:
“I would bet my last dollar that Tuku does not bequeath anything in his will to either Selmor and Sandra, not even a single penny or morsel. Daisy is getting everything, totally.”
The book also quotes Mtukudzi who said his property is his and his wife (Daisy) and that his children have to work for their own.
“I am 60 and I don’t have time…maybe just three more years and I am gone. So these girls should leave me to enjoy the time that I have with my wife.”
“Tuku Backstage” also looks at how Mtukudzi was accused of shutting out his own daughters, coupled with his secret relationships with several women, as told by ex-wife Melody and wife Daisy and his workers.
Interestingly “Tuku Backstage” was published when Tuku was still alive and he never disputed its contents.
Mutamba says he wrote the book with Mtukudzi’s full support and blessings.
“While a number of sources could not openly speak, Tuku urged me to still write the book. The book comprises my memos, two years of wide-ranging interviews with his close families and the star himself.”
Mutamba, however, knew that the book may cause some readers discomfort.
“That is inevitable. I must write my thoughts obeying only my mind because that is creativity. I take delight in the liberties of literature, freedom of imagination and supremacy of thought.”
Mutamba says people fail to separate Mtukudzi’s music and character; hence they see great music and a great father, great husband and a man of integrity together.
“Tuku’s character must be viewed on moral and ethical grounds separate from his music. The music must not influence our honest opinion of the man himself.”
The veteran journalist says the book seeks to unpack Mtukudzi’s legacy.
“Do we find the legacy in music or in the character or both?
“The legacy is his extraordinary music created at the human level to touch our hearts. The music itself far outweighs the man, his deeds and character. In fact the music is the opposite of the man.”
“Tuku Backstage” also dwells on Mtukudzi and Daisy’s romance, squabbles, separation, love affairs, divorce and re-union while the singer’s first wife Melody opens up on her marriage to the legendary musician and their eventual divorce.