Tuku To Headline Book Cafe Founder Paul Brickhill’s Solidarity Concert

On Tuesday 19 August, some of Zimbabwe’s best-loved artists come together at Book Café from 7pm in a rainbow presentation of great African music, in solidarity with Book Café founder Paul Brickhill who is struggling with ill health in a local hospital.

Paul Brickhill has been in hospital for a few weeks

Arts pioneer and advocatePaul Brickhill has been in hospital for a few weeks

An initiative of the Zimbabwe star Oliver ‘Tuku’ Mtukudzi and his drummer/manager Sam Mataure, the Tuesday show will feature both ‘big names’ in the local music industry and artists who are growing steadily in the popularity stakes in Zimbabwe, and opening with emerging artists who are still in the early stages of their careers.

Mataure said “Tuku wants to take this opportunity to acknowledge the work of Paul and the Book Café for artists of Zimbabwe, many of whom who have risen to wide acclaim thanks to the platform provided for us here. Many consider Book Café to be their musical ‘home’.” The sentiment is echoed by all artists in the lineup.

Billed to perform before Tuku takes the stage, are ambassador for peace Victor Kunonga, the feisty young Ammara Brown, afropop artist Edith Katiji weUtonga, mbira-punk rockers Chikwata.263 with Paul’s son Tomas, mbira princess Hope Masike, the emerging Amanda – and more.

These are just a few of the many hundreds of artists who have enjoyed the support of Book Café over its 17 years of existence, and become part of a unique ‘music family’ built around years of vivid performances, collaborations and cross-cutting development programmes, led, pushed and promoted by creative director Paul Brickhill.

A musician himself, Brickhill has had a long love affair with the arts in Southern Africa since his youth, which gave him the special gift of understanding the unique needs of artists and complexities of the industry in Zimbabwe. Also a great visionary, and equipped with a skilled team of arts and venue managers, Paul’s passion and unique understanding of artists’ needs grew the Book Café from a humble café with a few music acts, to one of the most popular performing arts platforms in the country, which has come to be known widely in the world, and saluted by artists from all over the planet.

In 2011 local artists showed overwhelming support for the relocation of Book Café to its present address in Samora Machel Avenue, donating performances towards fundraising for the huge refurbishment needed at the new venue, in preparation for the hundreds of performances still to come.

In 2012 the Book Café became a laureate of the prestigious 2011 Prince Claus Awards for ‘its exemplary support of culture and development in Zimbabwe, for the diversity, quality and wide reaching impact of its activities, for stimulating creativity and fostering aspiring young talent, and for its tenacity and commitment in upholding freedom of expression in a difficult context.’

In 2013 the Book Café won the National Arts Merit Award (NAMA) for ‘Outstanding Achievement in Arts Service’ by the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe.

On the Tuku Musik Facebook page Oliver said “Shamwari yedu Paul Brickhill we wish you a speedy recovery. Our prayers are with you nemhuri yeku Book Cafe. Kusimba nekupora.” – (Our friend Paul Brickhill, we wish you a speedy recovery. Our prayers are with you and the Book Café family. Be strong and get well.)

The Tuesday show promises to be an outpouring of great music and solidarity, and the cover charge of only $5 allows everyone the opportunity to experience the magic of the artists of the Book Café Family, and to see the big stars up close.

Book Cafe presser