ICONIC musician Oliver Mtukudzi is set to get the perfect recognition on Friday where he is expected to be conferred with an honorary Doctor of Philosophy degree by the Great Zimbabwe University (GZU).
GZU vice-chancellor Rungano Zvobgo said Mtukudzi would be awarded the doctorate for his “invaluable” contribution to the arts and entertainment sector in the country and beyond.
“We are going to award him with an honorary Doctor of Philosophy in Ethno-Musicology for his sterling contribution to the music industry in Zimbabwe, as well as his work that is recognised internationally and thus putting the country on the global map,” he told Southern Eye Lifestyle.
“He is the cultural ambassador of Zimbabwe.”
Zvobgo said this time it was “definite” that Mtukudzi would get the accolade this time.
A previous attempt to honour the superstar at the institution’s seventh graduation ceremony last year was stopped at the last minute under unclear circumstances.
However, sources at the time said there were fears Mtukudzi could “steal the thunder” from President Robert Mugabe, the university’s chancellor, who was conferred with an honorary Doctor of Philosophy degree in African Heritage and Philosophy at the ceremony.
Tuku, who has won several music awards and has more than 50 albums in his more than three-decades-long music career, could not be reached for a comment.
Early this year, he was among a number of high-profile Zimbabweans who were awarded honorary doctorates by the controversial International Institute of Philanthropy (IIP), but the Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education disregarded the honour as IIP was not registered or authorised to award degrees.
Other recipients of the doctorates were United Family International Church’s Ruth Makandiwa, wife of the church’s founder Emmanuel Makandiwa and Isabel Chihuri, wife of police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri.
Former Zimbabwe National Roads Administration chief executive officer Frank Chitukutuku, Avenues Clinic managing director Merissa Kambani and Pastor Ruth Musarurwa of Christ Embassy were also awarded with the degrees.