Mbira Master Hakurotwi Mude Dies at 72

One of Zimbabwe’s  most famous Shona singers and renowned mbira player, Hakurotwi Mude, died the second week of January.

"With a heavy heart, we write to announce the passing of Mr. Hakurotwi Mude this past week in Zimbabwe at the age of 72," announced fellow musicians Paul Berliner and Cosmas Magaya on January 20, 2008 . "Mr. Mude was the leader of, and featured singer with, the renowned mbira ensemble, Mhuri yekwaRwizi. His exceptional voice, his command over wide-ranging vocal styles, his imaginative improvisations, and the extraordinary power of his expression were “gifts from God,” as his ensemble members attested.

Mr. Mude is featured on the Nonesuch CDs Zimbabwe: The Soul of Mbira and Zimbabwe: Shona Mbira Music. He will be long remembered and remembered well by all those whose lives he touched."Hakurotwi Mude, a deeply spiritual man,  made his living in the city doing upholstery work for cars. But he was also the leader of a professional group of mbira player.  Hakurotwi Mude appeared on the video Urban and Rural Ceremonies with Hakurotwi Mude, released in 1978.

Photo courtesy of afropop.org.