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Veteran Zimbabwean musician Oliver Mtukudzi, who died on Wednesday, will be buried at his rural home in Madziva, near Bindura today.

Fellow Zimbabwean musician Edith Katiji (We Utonga) told the Sunday Nation on the phone on Saturday that arrangements were in place for the burial.

“We expect senior government officials and leading Zimbabwean musicians to be at the funeral,” she said.

Ms Katiji spoke at the Pakare Paye Arts Centre where Tuku’s body had been lying for public viewing.

VIEWING

Mr Mtukudzi set up the centre for developing arts, music and culture among up and coming musicians in 2003.

Ms Katiji, who is also a music union official, added that there was public viewing for the fallen icon at the National Sports Stadium in Harare on Saturday.

Thereafter, a major sendoff concert involving top Zimbabwean musicians was held at the same venue.

At the frontline of the artistes paying tribute was Mr Mtukudzi’s longtime counterpart Thomas Mapfumo.

NATIONAL HERO

On Thursday, President Emmerson Mnangagwa paid a call at Mr Mtukudzi’s Norton residence where he announced a national hero status on the musician.

He said that the government would cater for the funeral expenses.

The family appeared to have preferred him buried at his rural home rather than the Heroes Acre Circle in the capital Harare. There were reports that Mr Mtukudzi wished to be buried “with his ancestors”.

TRIBUTES

Mr Mtukudzi’s death after a long battle with diabetes drew messages of grief from his fans across the continent and other parts of the world.

In Kenya, afro-musician star Suzanna Owiyo, who worked closely with Mtukudzi, said she talked to his family on the phone.

“I told the family that though we may not make it to the funeral, the Kenyan music fraternity is with them,” she said.

Ms Owiyo and other artistes are planning a tribute concert for Mtukudzi.

Also eulogising Mtukudzi was Mr John Katana,  the leader of the legendary Them Mushrooms Band.

ACTIVISM

Mr Mtukudzi is known for hits like HIV/Aids awareness “Todii” and the mournful “Neria”.

“Neria” (a movie song) done in his native Shona Language is about the tribulations of a widow who ends up in poverty as she cannot inherit her husband’s property as traditions do not allow it.

Mtukudzi produced more than 60 albums. Veteran radio broadcaster Fred Obachi Machoka hosted shows in honour of Mtukudzi this weekend.

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