Liberty Dube and Kudzie Gerede recently in Madziva
THE passing on of the late music superstar and national hero, Oliver Mtukudzi, strikes a heavy burden on his long-time companion and backing vocalist, Picky Kasamba, who despite having left The Black Spirits back in 2008 to pursue other business ventures, kept close contact with the late musician.
Widely mistaken as Tuku’s younger brother owing to their striking resemblance, Picky was not a mere band member, but one that became family to the Mtukudzis having backed the veteran artiste for about 25 years.
The duo was popularly known for their scintillating stage performances which popularised the Katekwe dance of the Korekore culture, that left many a crowd locally and world over in ecstasy. It is this profound bond that existed between the two that when he sat down with Weekender Entertainment last Sunday evening after Tuku’s burial in Madziva, Picky would at one minute reflect glowingly of their musical and personal exploits and the next minute struggle to finish a point as he evidently held back tears.
“I cannot equate this pain to anything I have felt before. Mdhara Tuku has left me a lonely figure. Where do we go from here? He has left a heavy burden,” said Picky.
“I knew Tuku when I was in primary school in Mbare as he was a close friend to my brother Peter Kasamba. They worked together and after work they would come home and play their guitar and that is when I started admiring Tuku and before long he admired my talent as well as I would join them from time to time. That is where we started our long journey that has ended today,” he said.
Evidently, for Picky it’s the internal dissentions among Tuku’s daughters that despite being seemingly downplayed in public places, more than anything else now, appear to be at the centre of his bleeding heart now that Tuku is gone.
“To the daughter in my hands by mudhara, let them remain united and do away with their differences so that they cement their efforts and copy the legacy left for them by their father because for me to fit in those shoes, honestly speaking I cannot, because no one is up to that legacy. So I wish Samantha, Selmar and Sandra could unite and work together, where they need my assistance I am there as their father,” said Picky.
Picky can only wish that if the late superstar’s departed son, Sam Mtukudzi was still alive he could have been the perfect successor to his father’s legacy.
“And I also mourn our son, Sam, that he should have been the one succeeding his father right now but unfortunately he was the first to leave us.”
Picky is, however, optimistic of a bright future for The Black Spirits, Tuku’s band, as he acknowledges the level of competence among the remaining members.
He also said he is willing to assist them in the best he can whenever they may need his assistance.
“The Black Spirits are my siblings who have been left by a father, the likes of Roddy, Charles, I urge you to be strong and continue working together. What Tuku taught you should be kept and preserved and I believe it will help you,” he said.
This comes in the wake of widespread demands by Tuku music lovers that Picky should assume leadership of the band, an idea he said was not his occupation as he is concentrating on his personal business ventures although will be always available to assist the group.