According to Mthethwa on Thursday, Mtukudzi, who succumbed to diabetes, was a musician par excellence, philanthropist, human rights activist and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for the Southern Africa region.
“Mtukudzi is considered Zimbabwe’s most renowned and internationally recognised cultural icon of all time.
“Despite being a son of the soil of Zimbabwe, with his hauntingly beautiful and husky voice, he had over the decades become the most revered voice to emerge from that country, to being devotedly loved in South Africa, the Southern African Development Community region and throughout the world,” Mthethwa said.
He said the late entertainer was not just a person with a famous or immediately recognised name, but someone who used his name for goodwill causes while fighting for human rights.
Here in South Africa, the minister said, Mtukudzi took part in the country’s annual Africa Month Programme as part of South Africa’s Ministry of Arts and Culture’s reference group, which comprised Salif Keita and Wally Serote, among others.
“To Bra Tuku, we say, thank you for the music. You demonstrated that done best, music transcends borders, culture and ethnicities, as it is the language that is best understood with the heart,” the minister said.
Mtukudzi passed away on the same date as his South African friend and collaborator, jazz legend Hugh Masekela, who passed away a year ago on 23 January.