Sam Mtukudzi – Five Years On

It is a total of five years to the day that rising star Sam Mtukudzi was stolen from Zimbabwe in the most cruel fashion.


In his youth an accident robbed a nation of a genius, a man who was beginning to step out of the superhuman shadow of his father Oliver with a display of skill and determination. He was talented too.

Our Chief Imagineer, Larry Kwirirayi shares emotions five eyears on:

Sam’s death is the single most weird thing that ever happened in my life, well, outside the loss of my mother.

Here was one of the most talented people I had seen work and having laboured with him as his mdhara (something he called me). 

That morning when Frank, a long-serving engineer from the Book Cafe told me that Sam was gone. An accident had taken him and his sound engineer Owen Chimhare. I was shattered. I had spoken to him less than two hours before the accident had happened. I was at the Book Cafe early that day  because I was meant to meet him and that was  just a cruel blow to the ideas we had shared.

Beyond the talent was a remarkable human being. A real human being and it sad so many people never got to see that.

Five years on, my thoughts remain with his father and mother, who lost a child. I lost a friend but they lost something more.

And what about his legacy?

I heard ‘Mamureva Wani’ a song from his final album ‘Cheziya’ as a ring tone from a client’s phone in 2015. I see people doing live renditions of his music on stages. He made music that belied his age with poignant lyrics and incredibly mastery in his arrangement. The future will judge him favourably.

Wile many never met Sam, it is clear to see why he was loved so immeasurably.

Rest in peace Sam Mtukudzi.

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