He remained a a regular at festivals while living with diabetes, Just a few weeks ago, Mtukudzi performed at the Nubian Festival in South Africa. And before that in October, he performed at the Kigali Jazz Junction. Last year, he re-released one of his greatest hits Neria, with a collaboration with Ladysmith Black Mambazo. He was also planning to release his 67th studio album this year.

Oliver Mtukudzi, legendary Zimbabwean musician, dead at 66
Tuku’s 66th album.
Image: Gallo Music

“My 67th album is meant to share a message of introspecting and I’m hoping people learn a thing or two from it,” Mtukudzi told South African media in December. “It’s an album I wrote last year after I realized that the world keeps getting tangled up in unnecessary problems.”

Tributes are pouring in for the musician known for taking his fans to lunch.

“This is sad news, personally I am at a loss for words,” said musician Aleck Macheso.

“Rest in Peace Oliver. If anyone ever made me so proud to be Zimbabwean it was you,” said politician David Coltart. “Thank you for making us so happy especially during the darkest days.”

*Rest in Peace

Lynsey Chutel reported from Johannesburg.

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