Former world heavyweight boxing champion, Evander Holyfield is eager to meet Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi and see the Zimbabwean Afro-Jazz maestro perform at London’s O2 arena this Friday (17 August 2012).
Holyfield, who has been in London for the 2012 Olympic Games, is on a UK-wide campaign against youth crime and domestic violence. His UK host and spokesperson, Steven French, today said the boxing legend was “both excited and honoured” to be meeting fellow humanitarian, Mtukudzi who is a UNICEF ambassodor.
“Organisers of the show have requested Evander to come as a guest of honour to Mr. Mtukudzi’s performance, but really, Evander feels privileged to be afforded this opportunity,” French said.
“We are aware of the work Mtukudzi has done to give a voice to vulnerable communities such as children, women and orphans the world over. Such a cause is no different from the work that our organisation (Kizuna Increase Peace Trust) advocates for, and which Evander is a patron to,” French himself a former British and World Kickboxing champion, added.
Holyfield has recently announced his plans to return to the ring with a fight planned against Ray Mecer in South Africa next February, at the ripe age of 49.
Meanwhile, Mtukudzi has touched down in London with his group ahead of the Friday show. For the gig, Tuku will be supported bythree leading female musicians of Zimbabwean heritage in the form of Shingai Shonhiwa of the Pop group Noisettes; Afro-Jazz songstresses, Busi Ncube and Prudence Katomeni-Mbofana.
The show’s promoters, Base Africa, say Mtukudzi – who has been on a tour of the US and Canada – was in great spirits.
“The whole group asked for a massive meal of sadza (Zimbabwe’s staple food) upon arrival, and you could tell they were homesick. We have however made them feel at home; and they are quiet relaxed and regaining their energies after a long trans-Atlantic trip,” quipped Glorianne Francis, director of Base Africa said.
“There big surprise for the show is that Shingai Shonhiwa is going to do some duets performances with Tuku. The show itself is causing quiet a hype here in London and tickets are selling fast. We anticipate that by 21:00 hrs tonight all tickets will be gone; and we are hoping to see a huge crowd partying to some Tuku music come Friday,” she added.
Tickets for the Hoza show are available from: