Oliver and Fred [Photo: Courtesy]

Exactly one year to the day after South African jazz legend Hugh Masekela passed on, Africa has lost yet another great musician.

Oliver Mtukudzi ‘Tuku’ Ndimambo, the Zimbabwean musician, human rights activist and Unicef Goodwill Ambassador, died yesterday aged 66.

The musician, who is considered Africa’s most renowned and internationally recognised cultural icon of all time, died at the Avenues Clinic in Harare.

In a career spanning three decades, Mtukudzi released 67 albums and earned numerous honours across the continent.

He had been in hospital since November 2018 after he suffered a heart attack.

His record label, Gallo Record, yesterday confirmed to Sowetan, a South African news website, that the star had been ill for a while.

Gallo Records Head of Marketing Carol Marabe confirmed the death of Mtukudzi in a short statement.

"We are not ready to give an official statement as we would like to give the family the go-ahead before us. We just want to make sure that we respect the family until a spokesperson has been selected,” said Ms Marabe.

Legendary radio presenter Fred Obachi Machoka termed the Zimbabwean musician the most authoritative musician in Africa.

"I lack words to describe the death of Oliver Mtukudzi. It is a sad day for not only Zimbabwe but for Africa as a continent. We have lost an artiste whose music cut across all ages and was listened to even beyond Africa... I have had a lot of respect for Oliver and for him to have been on stage at his age meant that he had African music deeply rooted in him," he said.

Mtukudzi married Melody Murape in 1979 but the two divorced in 1993. He later married Daisy.

He is survived by four children and two grandchildren. His son, Sam Mtukudzi, died in a car accident in March 2010.

The musician had once shared a stage with Kisumu songbird Suzanna Owiyo and recorded a song with Eric Wainaina called Twende Twende.