Upcoming Pakare Paye Arts Centre guitar prodigy, Munya Mataruse, has expressed his excitement at being asked to join Oliver ‘Tuku’ Mtukudzi on his latest tour of the United States and Canada.
African musical giant Tuku’s seven stop tour will take him and his band to venues in New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts in the US and Ontario in Canada.
Tuku and his band, accompanied by Mataruse, arrived in the United States on Wednesday and are now in Hanover, New Hampshire where their first show was set for last night, January 29.
Tuku opened the Norton-based Pakare Paye Centre in 2004 as a way of giving back to the community and contributing to the growth of the music industry in Zimbabwe.
Speaking about the addition of Mataruse to the tour Tuku said that it was important for people in whatever industry they were to reach out and help the young. “It’s the natural thing to do, we must use our experience and knowledge to assist those who are coming up behind us, those who will push on after us.”
An excited Mataruse, speaking just before he boarded the plane en route to the US said that this would be a learning experience for him. “I am looking forward to using this trip to learn how Tuku and his management organise tours. It will also be a big platform to introduce my music to some of his fans.”
Mataruse has received great reviews from arts critics during his formative years. In 2011, Newsday, writing about him said, “Without doubt one can easily conclude that he is not only a true protégé of Oliver Mtukudzi but a star in his own making.” Then two years ago, in 2013, the Herald wrote of the young musician, “He is now a journeyman ready to take the world on his own.” But even as early as 2010, critics had picked out Mataruse’s magic, with the Zimbo Jam raving about one of his shows in Norton in December that year.
Mataruse was born in Norton on January 2, 1988. He attended Chiedza Primary School in Norton before going to St Joseph High School in Zaka, Masvingo.
It was while he was at primary school that his musicality blossomed. He started singing in 1996 and joined the school marimba band. In 2005 he signed up to Pakare Paye and started playing the guitar, receiving lessons from Poda Muriwa, the late Sam Mtukudzi and Tuku himself.
He has since shared the stage with top acts from Zimbabwe and beyond its borders, including Suluman Chimbetu, Alick Macheso, Kunle Ayo (Nigeria), Eric Wainana (Kenya) and Ray Phiri (South Africa). His most precious and memorable moments on stage though, have been those he has shared with his famous mentor.