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About the Artists
Perhaps what makes Oliver Mtukudzi most immediately distinctive is his voice—deep and husky, which some have said reflects the struggles of his people. Then there’s his guitar, with its unique and distinguished sound. Born in Zimbabwe, Mtukudzi’s music bears the marks of his KoreKore tribal heritage, and his instantly recognizable voice has made him an international success. By incorporating different genres of music into his own, he has generated an entirely new style, known to his fans as “Tuku” music.
He sings in his nation's dominant Shona language along with Ndebele and English, and has won numerous awards including the National Arts Merit Awards (NAMA) in 2002 and 2004 for Best Group / Male vocalist, the KORA Award for Best African male artist and Lifetime Achievement Award in August 2003, an honorary degree from the University of Zimbabwe, and a NAMA Award in 2003 for Best Group/Artist. In 2011, the Italian government awarded him the prestigious Cavaliere of the Order of Merit Award in recognition of his work as an international musician, and in that same year Mtukudzi was also named Zimbabwe's first UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for Eastern and Southern Africa.
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