Langalakhe Mabena, Showbiz Reporter
IT has always been a dream, a 10-year-old fantasy for South African-based Afro-Jazz muso, Bekezela, to share the stage with his inspirational musical father figure, Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi.
Finally, the dream turned into reality on 7 September when the two Afro Jazz maestros shared the stage during the “Spring Feelings Jazz and Soul Dinner Concert” at The Large City Hall in Bulawayo.
Even though people didn’t turn up to the gig as expected with less than 200 fans attending the event, to Bekezela, who was performing on home soil, it was not a matter of a few people in attendance but dishing out a good performance.
On top of that, being around and performing alongside a legend like Mtukudzi as a main act was a privilege to him as he had an opportunity to learn a lot from Tuku in as far as humanity, the music industry and business are concerned.
With Tuku boasting of 66 albums to his name, the philosophy shared by Mtukudzi to the younger Bekezela who has one album under his belt was that of a master and a student.
Bekezela revealed he had learnt a lot from the guru and would follow in his footsteps.
“Tuku literally told me that I have to be myself because if I try to be a copycat of someone else I would have robbed the world of my personality and if I become myself I won’t have competition because there is no one in the world who was created the way I am.
“He also told me if I chose to be a musician I should be one even when times are hard because not every farmer will always get a bumper harvest in all the seasons. I just have to hang around my creativity and also respect my fans because they are the ones who determine the kind of artiste I am and who I will become in the future,” said Bekezela.
What’s the best moment Bekezela cherished with Tuku?
“Apart from music, Mtukudzi is a free spirit. He is down to earth and has a great sense of humour. When we were doing different interviews on radio stations, he answered them referring to me always as a young artiste and that made me feel comfortable around him because he made it look like we had known each other for the past 10 years,” said Bekezela.
Bekezela recently released a single titled Siyatshadisa in which he used some of Mtukudzi’s lyrics from the Makorokoto song.
He, however, revealed that there is no collaboration between himself and Mtukudzi.
Bekezela said he is willing to perform at Mtukudzi’s Pakare Paye Festival just to honour the legend because the wisdom he shared with him was enough for him to just say thank you.