Oliver Mtukudzi

Living Tuku Music in Zimbabwe

Jennifer W. Kyker



Oliver ‘Tuku’ Mtukudzi, a Zimbabwean guitarist, vocalist, and composer, has performed worldwide and released some 50 albums. One of a handful of artists to have a beat named after him, Mtukudzi blends Zimbabwean traditional sounds with South African township music and American gospel and soul, to compose what is known as Tuku Music. In this biography, Jennifer W. Kyker looks at Mtukudzi's life and art, from his encounters with Rhodesian soldiers during the Zimbabwe war of liberation to his friendship with American blues artist Bonnie Raitt.


Informed by two decades of intimate engagement with Zimbabwean music and religion, Kyker s study offers the first sustained examination of Oliver Mtukudzi s oeuvre, and reveals the rich political literacies at work in local and diasporic practices of listening. -Tsitsi Jaji, Duke Univeristy


Jennifer W. Kyker holds a joint appointment as Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology at Eastman School of Music and the College of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering at the University of Rochester.