He also known as "Tuku" (short for Mtukudzi) is a singer-songwriter, actor, writer, film director and entrepreneur. With over 60 albums to his name, he is one of Zimbabwe's top musicians and lead of the band The Black Spirits. His sings a music genre known as Afro-Jazz. Mtukudzi's career spans decades, having started in 1975 when he did his debut single.
Mtukudzi has his own music label 'Tuku Music' which is also the name of his apparel label. Mtukudzi was lead actor in the movies "Jit" and "Neria" released in the 90s. Mtukudzi wrote and directed the successful live musical production Was My Child. Mtukudzi is one of the few Zimbabweans whose music has international appeal.
Mtukudzi was born on the 22nd of September 1952 in Highfield, is the first born in a family of seven siblings. His parents both sang and actually met at a competition of church choirs. His parents continued to sing and compete amongst themselves (parents) and drew in Oliver and his siblings as the judges. This musical environment drew him to music. Mtukudzi developed a sense of social and economic responsibility early in life due to the premature death of his father. He has four sisters and one brother.
Mtukudzi’s music career started at the age of 23 with the 1975 release of his debut single, Stop After Orange. It's been stated widely, including on Mtukudzi's own website that in 1977 he teamed up with Zimbabwe top musician, Thomas Mapfumo, at a famous band called Wagon Wheels that being his official entry into the Zimbabwean music industry. Mapfumo has however denied this saying
“I was coming from Mutare myself where we were contracted at a hotel in Dangamvura. When I returned to Harare, that’s when I met Oliver. He was practising at James Bond’s place because this guy used to own equipment, so a lot of youngsters used to go there just to practise music. After I met Oliver, we had a short tour together. I was already singing my Shona music, and he was playing something strange… he was playing a guitar, singing a song like… we used to call the song Green for Go and Red for Stop.
Nzou Samanyanga ‘The Superstar’ is the first Patron of SttarBrite and he was honoured in 2012. Tuku has opened doors for StarBrite as he had provide venue at Pakare Paya for the StarBrite team to hold their auditions at. 2012 finalist managed to get one on one counselling from him also as they were given ideas on how to make it in the industry.