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Oliver Mtukudzi establishes art centre in Norton
Taurai Maduna,
October 11, 2004

Oliver Mtukudzi paying attention to the performances by young artistsOn Sunday October 03, 2004, aspiring musicians, poets and drama clubs thronged the Pakare Paye Art Centre in Norton to showcase their talents to Zimbabwe's famous guitarist, singer and songwriter Oliver Mtukudzi.

Pakare Paye Art Centre is a community facility which gives talented boys, girls, school leavers, orphans a place where they can spend sometime enhancing what they can do best. The Art centre focuses on identifying and developing the arts inclusive of dance, music, drama, peotry, story telling, script writing, filming and so on.

The talented artist said the Centre caters for talent scouting, grooming and in helping the young people get organised as business people and equip them with all the tricks needed for one to survive in the music indistry. Mtukudzi expressed joy at the vast amount of raw talent that was presented at the Centre on October 3rd.

One young artist who thrilled the audience was 8 year old Lyvette Kambuma from Dudley hall Primary School, whose song "Sugar Daddy" called on sugar daddies to leave the young people alone. Lyvette said she looks forward to be promoted by Mtukudzi.

Lyvette KambumaMtukudzi was impressed with Lyvette's performance, which took him back tohis early days.Mtukudzi said, "i did not even start at that level, I started even lower than the performance I saw today. They are lucky they are able todo that before they even get into the business."

Mr Wildred Rwodzi a teacher from Hartzen Primary School could not hide his feelings about the new facility that will give his students a chance to learn more about music from Oliver Mtukudzi, a person who has been in the business for a long time. He further said, "This talent centre wil be the cornerstone of all the activities comprising the arts in Norton."

Mr Rwodzi's comments were also echoed by other aspiring artists who are looking for different kind of help, from assistance with dancing costumes, drums, instruments to music production. In a speech to the aspiring artists Mtukudizi urged the artists that no time is too late in the arts. If they have a dream they should pursue it. He called on parents to support their children because they could survive and as artists as long as they had faith in their work.

Mtukudzi called on the school going artists to do their homework first before they come to the arts centre because education was very important. He said without English and Maths artist's where likely to be cheated and exploited in their careers. Mtukudzi said he had been exploited for over 20 years in his career because he had signed a contract that he had not fully understood.

Mtukudzi urged the young people to avoid being entagled in such situations. Well known poet Chirikure Chirikure, who is also a board member for the centre said the centre is the brainchild of Oliver Mtukudzi and it's main focus is to open up opportunities for the young upcoming artists starting primarily with the Norton Community which is his home town.

Also present at the Arts Centre was jazz artist Bob Nyabinde who commended Mtukudzi for the initiative. He said; "Mtukudzi has paved the way for many people to get a start into the arts". The jazz artist said what could have taken an artist two years to learn, could now take two days, due to the professional guidance that will be available.

Oliver Mtukudzi offers advice to a young artistPakare Paye Art Centre is located at No. 238 Galloway Road in Norton. The premises were previously used as a garage warehouse but have been cleared and cleaned. Mtukudzi saidthere was a lot that needed to be done and Tuku Music (Pvt Ltd) could not do this on it's own. Mtukudzi is appealing to well wishers to cheap in and assist since the centre is not Tuku's private property but for the community.

Items that are urgently in need include black boards, chalks, cultural books, bibles, musical instruments (traditional and contemporary) volunteers and teachers, curtains and chairs. The Arts Centre will be linking up with various arts institutions from the region and artists will be in a position to benefit in a number of ways, which include scholarships and cultural exchanges.

Mtukudzi said he struggled to make it in life and the arts centre is meant to give other people the opportunity he never had when he was young. He said he would like to see each city and town having such a centre. Mtukudzi has over the years helped various artists including musicians such as Zexie Manatsa, Charles Chiweshe, Kings Voices, poet Chirikure Chirikure and the late Robert Chiriga. All their music was released under the Tuku Music stable and recorded at Oliver's home studio called KwaSamanyanga.

For more information on the Pakare Paye Art Centre, please email

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