This is why I am taking dad to watch Oliver Mtukudzi perform live in Kisumu
The first time I listened to Oliver Mtukudzi was in 2001. I was in form one and I had just come from school to find my dad listening to Africa Focus on the BBC. My dad only listened to one radio station when we were growing up. From when I was as little as 9 years old I could name all the BBC World Service programs. I knew all the broadcasters’ names. I remember him telling me that he wanted me to grow up to be a radio broadcaster or producer.
On this day the program was focusing on an old Zimbabwean film called Neria. The film about a young African woman who was struggling with life in the village after her husband died in a tragic accident was made in 1993 and starred Oliver Mtukudzi who was also the composer of the soundtrack. The interview was being done on this day because Mtukudzi had just released his 38th Album titled Neria as well. I sat next to dad as he listened attentively, I would see his hidden smile in the corner of his mouth. He had watched the film before because he had been to Zimbabwe a couple of times for work. Then he started humming along when Mtukudzi started singing the chorus. My dad has a great voice he rarely puts to use, not even on Sundays. When he sang I saw his broad smile and for a moment he was lost in his element.
My dad sings along to very few songs but you should see him and mum sing to Jim Reeve’s Snow flakes. They would even break into a dance. A couple of TPOK Jazz numbers and this day I added Neria to the list. Latter on I would add Todi.
My dad is one of those “tough love” guys. They rarely show emotions but if you know how to read them you can tell when they are having a good moment. His tough love nature usually gives me a hard time when I think of what gift to get him whenever I travel out of the country and I am buying gifts for guys, so I mostly end up getting him very functional stuff. Once in a while though you need to spoil a man but in my 30 years of life under this world I have never known how to spoil my dad even though he spoiled me as a kid. Taught me how to be great father to my daughter though I am not the “tough love” kinda dad.
When I heard that Oliver Mtukudzi was coming to town I had a light bulb moment – almost quite literally. My mind took me back 15 years ago and I relived that moment very vividly. I have to bring dad to Oliver’s concert. I haven’t told him about it yet but I am certain he will be thrilled. I am bringing my little brother as well (he is not that little but hey…) and my wife and my little brother’s wife. I am however more excited about bringing dad. How about you make Saturday special for someone – your dad, mom, brother, sister, wife, girlfriend?
When someone has 56 albums and he is performing in your city for the first time, that is an incredible story in itself and maybe some day 15 years from today you will be telling a story about you brought with you to the concert. I am hoping to one day tell a story of how dad broke into a dance as he sang along to Mtukudzi’s hits the first time he performed in Kisumu.
Oliver will be performing at Acacia Premier Hotel on Saturday 17th September 2016 alongside Suzanne Owiyo of Kisumu 100 fame, new kids on the block The CBK Band who have brought you hits like Siro and Rasukha Murwe. Jalang’o will make sure you go home with your ribs aching.
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