Thursday, 10 April 2014

I went to school for wrong reasons — Tuku

HARARE - Music superstar Oliver ‘Tuku’ Mtukudzi bemoans the time he wasted pursuing academic studies that he had no passion for.

The 62 year old internationally recognised music icon who has just returned from a three-month world tour believes he could have achieved a lot more if he had taken music seriously from a tender age.

Tuku made the remarks on Wednesday during the tour of his Norton-based Pakare Paye Arts Centre by Sports, Arts and Culture minister Andrew Langa.

“I built this arts centre in 2003 to fight most parents’ attitude towards arts,” said Tuku.

“Art is considered as a loafer’s job by society that is why children are forced to spend time pursuing academics instead of developing the talents they are good at.”

The Sarawoga singer now realises that he went to school for the wrong reasons.

“I wasted a lot of time pursuing academics just like some university graduates who end up being employed by artistes to display posters on the streets,” said the Bvuma hit-maker who added that the purpose of education should be to enhance talents inherent in children.

I went to school for wrong reasons — Tuku
The award-winning musician who has been in the music business for over four decades wants Pakare Paye Arts Centre to inspire young artistes.

“I hope it will go a long way in helping youngsters to follow their hearts. The moment one becomes an artiste he also becomes a business person. Society should understand that one can make a living through arts,” he said.

Tuku told Langa that he is single-handedly financing the construction of the Norton-based arts centre.

“I am building this centre on my own. I didn’t receive even a single cent from anyone. The centre is far from being complete but I hope it will go a long way in helping youngsters to follow their hearts.”

Langa, who is the first minister to take charge of the new Sports, Arts and Culture ministry, said Tuku is a living proof of what a professional approach to the arts can achieve.

“The government appreciates very much what you are doing. You have managed to transform yourself from being a mere entertainer to a businessperson,” said the minister.

The Insiza North legislator conceded that the government has not fully played its part in facilitating arts development in the country.

“As government I must admit that we have not done much to help artists but I can say we are going to help you in sourcing funds you need to complete the centre. We are going to engage the corporate world to assist you,”he said.

Apart from Tuku’s Pakare Paye Arts Centre, Langa, who was in the company of National Arts Council of Zimbabwe Elvas Mari, also toured Murehwa Cultural Centre that was established in 1984.

Though the Murehwa facility was supposed to be the first of many such district cultural centres, it has remained the only one three decades on.

“We are negotiating with the Chinese government to build a big cultural centre in Harare but before we embark on that one, we have to refurbish the one we have here in Murewa.Centres of this nature keep our culture as Zimbabweans intact,” he said.

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