62-YEAR-OLD Daisy Kudzai Mtukudzi, a businesswoman and widow of the late national hero Oliver Mtukudz, says she is very lonely, three years after his death.
Tuku died 23 January 2019 and the world has never been the same for Daisy, who revealed that she still wears the ring he gave her from his deathbed.
While Tuku had children of his from a previous marriage, Daisy and Tuku had a child, Sam, who also followed his father’s footsteps into music.
However, as fate would have it, Sam died in a horrific road accident in March 2010 in Kuwadzana, Harare, just a month before his 22nd birthday. Daisy misses both her son and Tuku, and revealed that Tuku never recovered from Sam’s death.
Sam was Tuku’s only (publicly) known son.
“ Our last days were as if he knew he was going. However, it was apparent that Sam’s death continued to affect him years after, even on his deathbed,” Daisy told the Sunday Mail in an interview.
Speaking on the third anniversary of Tuku’s death, Daisy recalled the events of his last day in hospital as if they happened yesterday, saying the pictures keep playing in her mind.
“The hospital staff called asking me to come, because he kept calling my name all day. I swiftly responded and went there. Upon arrival, the first thing he said was ‘‘Dee, take my ring with you’.’ We used to call each other Dee, which for others is short for Daisy and Dairai, but, to us, it was for darling.
“He asked the nurse who had put the ring in storage to give it to me. I took it and told him I was putting it on. Since then, I have never removed it; it makes me feel close to him. His last words were ‘‘Dee, I love you!’’ and just after that, the machines started buzzing as he breathed his last,” she said.
She described Tuku, affectionately known as Samanyanga, as her soulmate and one she will forever cherish.
“What I miss most about Samanyanga is the soulmate that he was. Barely an hour would pass by without us communicating, even if he was away. I miss those calls; we always checked up on each other often. I feel lonely. I have no one to discuss issues with.
“We discussed before making any decision, regardless of how small it was. Sometimes I get carried away, looking at my phone hoping that he is going to call. It is tough to find anyone to fill the gap he left in my life. Life has been empty without him; a part of me is gone. I am still grieving,” said Daisy.
“Sometimes female fans would even throw themselves at him, a lot would also be written about him, but because we were best friends, I understood him beyond that. At home, we would talk about some of the incidents and laugh it off.
“Tuku taught me to act as if nothing happened around us and that lesson brought us far. On special occasions like Valentines’ (Day) or on my birthday, he always made sure to spoil me. I always got a card and a bunch of flowers. I have more than 37 cards (birthday) in my archive. He also took me to countless lunch and dinner dates.
“I also discovered after his death (2019) that he had set in motion plans to take me to Kariba for a houseboat treat for my 60th birthday,” Daisy gushed.
Last year, Daisy revealed that contrary to the common belief, her late husband did not leave any money for her. She claimed that the late national hero was broke and didn’t have any money.
“Tuku himself did not have money. Ask those who know him, he would facilitate deals for others, he would host youngsters and help them but he would not give them money. He just did not have money,” she revealed then.
Meanwhile, narrating how she first met the legendary musician in the 1980s when he was already a household name, Daisy said it was all because of her uncle that she ended up in Tuku’s arms.
“It was back in 1980, in Kwekwe. He was friends with my late uncle Samuel Matiza. At that time, I was staying with my uncle, so one day they came to my workplace, although I did not recognise him even after introducing himself. Since then, he would frequent my workplace and months later, he made his intentions known both to me and my uncle.
“However, being a village girl, it took me almost a year to agree to date him. He would call me daily on our landline. One day in 1981, Oliver’s then manager, Jack Sadza, called, asking me to travel to Harare and meet the Mtukudzi family, but I refused, which prompted Oliver to then call my uncle and plead with him for permission.
“The following day we met in Harare only to discover that Oliver had in fact planned to take me to Malawi, where he had a gig. I was reluctant at first, but he was a charmer; he had his way around me.
“However, landing in Lilongwe, Malawi, one of my worst fears was confirmed — we met my uncle’s neighbour who worked at the airport, and when he saw me, he asked why I was in Malawi with some unknown men. It was Oliver, Sadza, another man and myself.
“Despite giving him several explanations and trying to silence him, he went on to inform my uncle. What was supposed to be our first trip together and be fun turned out to be horror. I was now stressed and yearned to go back home. I had my own room and I recall the sleepless nights as fear of what would happen if they got the news at home wiped away all the excitement.
“Just as Oliver had promised my uncle, in two days, we were back in Harare before driving me straight home, where, upon arrival, I could tell something was wrong. My father had just come from our rural home. Without much negotiation, together with Oliver we were asked to go back from wherever we had come from.
“Without any change of clothes, we left for Harare and that was the beginning of my life with Oliver. Later that year, he paid dowry and in 1982 we had our firstborn.
“Considering the time I got married and the time Selmor was to be born, 1983, it is clear there was some mischief, but I decided not to be harsh or hold grudges over the issue.”