National hero status was conferred to music legend Oliver Mtukudzi following his death on Wednesday.
Being made a national hero in Zimbabwe is the highest honour that can be given to an individual in the country. Oliver Mtukudzi has become the first musician to be accorded this status. It truly shows the gigantic impact he left behind not only in Zimbabwe but across the world.
Oliver Mtukudzi, who was affectionately known as Tuku, succumbed to diabetes on the 23rd of January.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa made the announcement, and also said that the government would take care of the funeral expenses.
"He deserves the status because of his hard work and leadership in the sector. He was a hero on his own and a hero of the people. His works deserve great honour," Nicholas Moyo head of the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe said.
Tuku's indelible global imprint made him endearing to people of all ages and of all races. His music had profound meaning, telling various stories about the successes and the plight of being Zimbabwean. He performed across Africa, in the United States, the United Kingdom and many other European countries.
When interviewed by CNN in 2013, Tuku said, "Where I come from, you don't get to sing a song if you have nothing to say."
President Mnangagwa said that the Mtukudzi family will decide where and when Oliver Mtukudzi will be buried.
The 66-year-old music superstar, whose career took him to the international stage, has been battling illness for the past month.
Header image credit: Chronicle Zim