#RememberingTuku : Tendai Guzha Talks Collaborating with the Late Oliver Mtukudzi
This week marks a year since the whole world lost Zimbabwean Music icon Oliver Mtukudzi. It is also the second year since the passing of equally prominent South African legend Hugh Masekela. These two, as fate would have it were birds of a feather. At the loss of Hugh Masekela, Oliver Mtukudzi was devasted and penned a song in his honour titled ‘Kusatereera’.
When young Zimbabwean Urban Dancer and Choreographer Tendai Guzha proposed a dance-focused ode to Bra Hugh it took a while for Oliver Mtukudzi to concede.
“I had sent him a video proposal ages ago and sent it to him…but he was always so busy…it took watching me live at the NAMAs in February 2018 for him to say “okay, let’s do the video.”” Tendai told #ENTHUSE
Shortly after, Tendai made his way to Tuku’s creative hub Pakare Paye for a site visit where everything unfolded rather quickly
“Two days later we were shooting,” he quipped.
The video was produced by Tinashe Ziswa and Gwinyai “Verseless’ Runyowa; directed and choreographed by Tendai Guzha. Kusateerera, the video is as haunting as it is cheerful more so with Tendai’s dance style which he referred to as the physical manifestation of the lyrics.
“I wanted to give Tuku a different video from the videos he did before, something different from his usual videos that have often been story-line driven. I thought to myself what if an artist like Tuku did a dance-cover type of video … it has never been done here in Zimbabwe…”
Asked if he and Oliver Mtukudzi were close, Tendai responded pensively;
“We were not close in the beginning … years before he’d see me and have no clue who I was until we met at a festival/workshop in Mali… that was the first time we actually spoke… towards the end was when we spoke more. He was accessible, as accessible as Tuku could get because he was an inaccessible guy. Towards the end, he went a bit quiet and wasn’t responding to messages anymore then shortly later that when the news came… we were on talking terms and I could ask him personal questions and we grew close towards the end “
Asked what he hoped to communicate in his directorial debut, Tendai said;
“I hope this video showed everyone that you could make a definitive concept with some continuity to it with focus on the dance…it’s also definitely was meant to underline my ambitions as a director. Often directors in music videos don’t ask what choreographers are trying to portray and so this project is me taking matters into my own hands, acquiring a new skillset toward generating respect for my craft”
Kusateerera features Hugh Masekela’s classic command of the horn, Tuku’s husky voice strung together along with short yet cryptic lyrics.