Oliver Mtukudzi: Living Tuku Music in Zimbabwe

By Jennifer W. Kyker | Go to book overview

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

This book began to take shape on a warm April day in 2004 as Oliver Mtukudzi and I talked on a fire escape at Mount Holyoke College, where I had studied as an undergraduate and had now returned to see Mtukudzi and the Black Spirits perform. By no coincidence, this genesis points toward the people to whom I owe the deepest gratitude in enabling this project to take shape. The first is Mtukudzi himself, who was unfailingly enthusiastic and supportive from our initial discussion at Mount Holyoke to the final stages of manuscript preparation. Mtukudzi generously accommodated me backstage at shows, on the band’s bus from one gig to another, and at the Pakare Paye Arts Centre in Norton, Zimbabwe. His willingness to engage in discussions about the complex and sometimes controversial elements of Tuku music—both musical and social—is yet another example of his commitment to singing hunhu. The second person present that day at Mount Holyoke was my undergraduate advisor Holly Hanson, who was responsible for inviting Mtukudzi to perform. An inspiring scholar, teacher, and mentor, Holly may not have expected when supervising my undergraduate thesis that some fifteen years later, I would still be seeking out her incredibly sound advice.

In Zimbabwe, Oliver Mtukudzi’s wife Daisy, his late son Samson, and his daughter Selmor were especially warm, welcoming, and helpful. Debbie Metcalfe was also immensely supportive, offering me a place to stay in Harare, patiently sitting through hours of conversation about Tuku music, and granting me access to her personal archives. I owe especially deep thanks to my mbira teachers Musekiwa Chingodza, Sekuru Tute Wincil Chigamba, Patience Chaitezvi Munjeri, and Sekuru Cosmas Magaya. Hilda and Winfilda Magaya and their daughters, Lillian Gomera and Daphine Sikalela, also housed me during the first few months of my research stay. Many other Zimbabwean musicians, artists, and scholars have likewise contributed to this project, both directly and indirectly. Foremost among them is my incredibly talented dance teacher Daniel Inasiyo, who has shared his love of Zimbabwe ngoma not only with me, but also with generations of young Zimbabweans both at Chembira Primary School, and through his work with the nonprofit organization Tariro (www.tariro.org).

-ix-

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Oliver Mtukudzi: Living Tuku Music in Zimbabwe
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction - The Art of Determination 3
  • One - Hwaro/Foundations 31
  • Two - Performing the Nation’s History 59
  • Three - Singing Hunhu after Independence 85
  • Four - Neria- Singing the Politics of Inheritance 109
  • Five - Return to Dande 127
  • Six - Listening as Politics 147
  • Seven - What Shall We Do?- Music, Dialogue, and HIV/AIDS 169
  • Eight - Listening in the Wilderness 203
  • Conclusion - I Have Finished My Portion of the Field 219
  • Notes 227
  • Bibliography 257
  • Index 275
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