President Emmerson Mnangagwa has admitted that the late music icon Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi’s song titled “Hero,” was an awakening call for government to re-look into the criterion used to declare national heroes.
This was said in a speech read on his behalf by the Defence Minister, Oppah Muchinguri while addressing mourners at the late music icon’s homestead in Madziwa yesterday.
“He continued the socio-musical commentary thread throughout the post-independence phase. Through song, he had the boldness to question, ‘What is a hero?’
“The nation and the world today answer his question. We loudly say; ‘Dr. Oliver Mtukudzi is a hero!’ That a hero!” said Mnangagwa.
In one of the videos circulating on social media, Chimurenga music guru, Dr Thomas Mapfumo said it was unwise to use liberation war credentials and partisan lines as a guarantee for national hero status.
“It is wrong to think that if one has never held a gun to fight in the liberation struggle then they do not deserve to be recognized as a national hero,” said Mapfumo in a discussion with Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa.
Most musicians who spoke at the funeral of the late music superstar hailed the move to bestow hero status on Tuku which they felt was well deserving considering his contribution and influence to the development of the music industry.
Former President Robert Mugabe once declared that the national heroes acre was reserved only for those with liberation war credentials.