Friday, December 19, 2014 Local time: 10:01

News / Civil society

Tuku Set to Tour America

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Violet Gonda
Popular Zimbabwean musician Oliver Mtukudzi is set to perform in a series of shows in the United States this month, including participating in the APAP conference - a global performing arts marketplace in New York.

Tuku’s stage manager Sam Mataure told the VOA that his first performance will be in Washington DC on Friday, followed by gigs in some states in the east coast including Philadelphia and Boston.

Mataure said the New York event would be particularly different from the other shows, as it will be an opportunity for artists like Mtukudzi to interact with promoters and producers in the music industry.

“This is where artists go and showcase themselves through the booking agencies. There is a lot of networking and bookings that take place. A lot of festival organizers and club owners will be coming there to look for artists to book for either this year or next year,” said Mataure.  

The manager said the U.S. is not an easy market to penetrate, especially to perform at big events, but was hopeful that through this “APAP event in New York, the band will get bigger and better bookings in America”.

Meanwhile, the 60-year old superstar quashed speculation about his HIV status, revealing in a weekend interview with CNN that he is HIV negative.

Tuku, who in recent years has endured unending speculation about his health, appeared on CNN’s African Voices program and spoke openly about the issue for the first time.

Zimbabwe’s leading songwriter, who has in the past revealed he was battling diabetes for years, said he became an HIV/AIDS activist and a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador after losing loved ones to AIDS, including his brother and four band members within a space of two months in the late 1980s.

He said this led to him raising awareness about the pandemic through his music.
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