LEGENDARY musician Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi has offered to stage a show in Bulawayo on Africa Day to make amends following his failure to perform in the city at a pre-Valentine’s Day gig with celebrated South African musician Ringo Madlingozi.Tuku, who was said to be down with a bout of flu, cancelled the Bulawayo show at the last hour but featured at the National Art Merit Awards held in Harare a day after, much to the ire of his legion of Bulawayo fans.
His manager Sam Mataure communicated that his doctor had advised him to rest and was monitoring his condition.
Turning to Tuku’s appearance at the Nama ceremony in the capital despite the doctor’s orders, Mataure said the music guru had attended the event because he was receiving a Lifetime Achievement award and was not expected to perform there. The icon also cancelled another Valentine’s performance at the Meikles Hotel in Harare because of his illness.
Mataure said accepting the award had no effect on Tuku’s health because he was relaxed as opposed to staging a show.
As a result of Tuku’s failure to attend the Bulawayo show, Groove Entertainment – organisers of the Bulawayo pre-Valentines bash came under fire from fans who felt short-changed.
Riled fans took to social networking sites to express their anger with many demanding refunds.
Director of Groove Entertainment Nkululeko Sibanda said they were equally shocked by Tuku’s cancellation but mechanisms were in place to refund fans who felt shortchanged by Tuku’s absence.
“We did all we could to explain to those that pitched up at the door for the show. Anyone who wants their money back will get it as we’ve made arrangements for refunds.
“We tried to handle the situation in a proper manner, that’s why there was no riot or violence,” said Sibanda.
He said contrary to rumours circulating, both Ringo and Tuku had been paid on time.
“We wish to underline that we did all we could to ensure that we’ would have a smooth show. Both Ringo and Tuku were paid their dues ahead of time.
“We also ensured that we obtained necessary clearances with Zimra, the National Arts Council, Immigration and all other relevant institutions,” said Sibanda.
He said plans were afoot to stage another show in the city soon.
“We’re working with Tuku’s management to hold a compensatory show in Bulawayo soon. Though Tuku has offered to perform on May 25, we’d prefer it to be held earlier. We’re therefore negotiating fresh dates with his management.
“We’ll however advise members of the public through the media when this show is going to be held,” said Sibanda.