IN the early hours of Monday March 15, 2010, a young vibrant voice fell silent. Sam Mtukudzi died during a car crash while travelling back home to Norton from Harare in the dark . Their Tata pick-up truck, which was being driven by Mtukudzi’s sound engineer and manager Owen Chimhare, struck guard rails on the bridge just before the Kuwadzana Extension off-ramp along the Harare-Norton Road. So, death robbed the planet of the talented artiste and arguably one among the simplest lyricists of all time.
Sam’s career got off to a flying start as he toured together with his father, the late music icon Oliver Mtukudzi, on a campaign dubbed Nzou neMhuru Mudanga. Nzou Samanyanga was Tuku’s totem.
The tour marked the start of a replacement dawn for an artiste who was destined for greatness and will are one among the foremost promising musicians in Zimbabwe had he lived to the present day.
Under the guidance of his superstar father, Sam sang his answer of his father’s shadow and managed to determine his own sound, which had an Afro-jazz appeal.
The promising young artiste had his own band called Ay Band with whom he recorded his debut album, Rume Rimwe, in 2008 which was produced within two years and at that point it took the industry by storm.
When his father introduced him as“the future”to appreciative crowds at a British nightclub in late 2009, he managed to determine quite sizeable fan base, unlike many up-and-coming artistes who usually ride on their parents’ coattails.
Rume Rimwe, although it had been his debut album, gained traction, with the plug track Chii Chanetsa becoming a really popular hit and topping the music charts on PowerFM in 2008.
On this track, like his father, Sam engaged in social commentary concerning violence from the attitude of the affected child. it’s an in-depth view at the ills of a wedding gone wrong where all the chances point at a divorce but the youngsters don’t want to entertain the thought. Evidently, most are unhappy and every one they will do is watch because it happens.
This is a song which will evoke emotions within one given the topic it tackles —that of fabric love. Amai focuses on a mother’s love and Sam was thanking his mother for her presence in his life.
It is a gorgeous song about appreciation and will serve to show us all to understand not only parents, but everyone who plays a big role in our lives.
The music style on this album are often described as jazz with a mix of Tuku music to spice it up. Tibatane may be a nother song on this album which is a jazzy-love song. Sam praises his partner calling her chisikwa chaMwari (God’s beautiful creation).
Sam demonstrated his music craftsmanship by the way during which he made music, particularly his ability to pen heart-rending lyrics and his experiments with instruments. His instrumentation was described as astonishing, with the backing vocalists setting a horizontal bar to match.
It jogs my memory that young musicians also can make such great music (but but this was Mtukudzi’s son. Songs like Why Can’t We, Ngwara and Mazuva Mangani (which is somewhat the title track concerning the Shona proverb rume rimwe harikombi churu) are suffering from advice on life. Besides the great music, there are strong messages contained within these songs that are like olden day folklore.
It is without one doubt that Sam’s music was more mature compared to his age and one wouldn’t let his age deceive them. His lyrical prowess herein lies within a poetic approach and there’s an undeniable reference to Tuku’s influence here.
Some still anticipate that perhaps had he had his seatbelt on, he would have lived to ascertain today . His late father also worried that had he come each day earlier from a world trip as originally planned, he would have averted Sam and Owen from taking the unplanned second trip to the town to welcome him and his wife from South Africa .
Zimbabweans think if the country had ensured our roads are safe, the 2 would still be alive today, doing what they did best; creating smiles during a nation that badly needs upliftment of the soul. All we all know needless to say is not any amount of grief and soul searching can bring Sam and his colleague back 10 years down the road .
With two remarkable posthumous albums — Musiiwa and Cheziya, several unreleased material and an almost palpable array of wonderful memories, Sam and his amazing legacy will never depart from Zimbabwe and her cultural landscape.
The most fascinating thing about the late Sam is what seemed to be a morbid fascination with death within the music he left behind. It appeared as if he knew that his days were numbered on Mother Earth, judging by the songs Famba Zvakanaka and Rwendo Rwauya, released posthumously, showing the young man bidding farewell to his loved ones as he began the a method trip.
His may be a painful story. With the offspring of the many great musicians having did not fit into their fathers’ shoes, Sam had managed to wean himself. His father Tuku had already started showing him the ropes, guiding his heir to the throne sort of a consummate cartographer.
Sam had the rare privilege of being guided along an equivalent steps Tuku made, literally, through the Nzou Nemhuru Yayo project.