Kundai Marunya Arts Correspondent
Rising afro-fusion musician Ashton Nyahora, popularly known as Mbeu, will today join local and international musicians to celebrate the life of the late national hero Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi.
The event is expected to take place at Joburg Theatre in Braamfontein, Johannesburg, South Africa between 12pm and 5pm.
Performing at the memorial service will be Mbeu’s second dance in South Africa, having previously performed with his late mentor Mtukudzi.
He will represent Tuku’s famed Pakare Paye Arts Centre, a talent grooming institution set in the late superstar’s hometown, Norton.
In an interview with The Herald Arts, Mbeu’s manager Eugene Museredza said being chosen to perform at the memorial of the late icon was an honour.
“It’s a great honour to perform at such a big platform, doubly so because he (Mbeu) will be celebrating the life of someone who mentored him for so many years.
“Mbeu will be among the other selected artists from Zimbabwe and South Africa billed to sing some of Tuku’s songs.
“Other artistes are yet to be announced but Mbeu is the only Pakare Paye Arts Centre representative. Tuku’s daughters Selmor and Sandra will also be part of the proceedings,” said Museredza.
The memorial musical program is being directed by South African jazz legend Steve Dyer.
“Open to the public, this celebration’s focus is Tuku’s music, with a musical program directed by fellow traveller and compatriot Steve Dyer. This is a South African cry from the heart.
“A cry of sorrow and loss, a cry of remembrance, a cry of joy and love.
“Come share with us as we celebrate this son of Zimbabwe and child of Africa,” reads a statement on the venue’s website.
Dr Oliver Mtukudzi died on January 23, at Avenues Clinic succumbing to a long battle with diabetes.
He was laid to rest at his rural home in Madziwa.
Mbeu, a protégé of Tuku, has been in the music industry since 2012; first as part of afro-fusion group Tsvete before going solo.