Tanzania music maestro Muhidin Maalim Gurumo (70) has been honoured by the Tanzania Distilleries Limited (TDL) for his long life in the music industry.
TDL awarded him Sh1m and a clock worth Sh 100,000 at a presentation ceremony held at Dar es Salaam’s Leaders Club on Nyerere Day.
The prizes were handed over to him by the brewers’ Area Sales Representative in Kinondoni Sankey Mbuja who represented TDL Managing Director David Mgwasa.
Gurumo who ventured into music in 1961, marked 50 years in his career on Friday, to coincide with Nyerere Day.
“We have decided to award him as a way of recognising his art. He is one of the most long serving musicians in the country,” Sankey said.
On his part, Gurumo thanked the Konyagi brewers and urging up and coming musicians to follow his footsteps for them to become great musicians.
The co-ordinator of the event, Moddy Pizzaro, said that TDL, would sustain its sponsorship of Gurumo’s group, Msondo Ngoma Music Band.
A 70-year-old man would normally have a retiree, but, stubbornly, yet impressively, Gurumo is clinging to the passion he has nursed for half a century, stretching back to when he was 20, a mere one year after emerging from teen-age.
Save for almost a year when he was off the stage due to illness in the recent past, the man deservedly nick-named ‘Commander’ is still kicking, music-wise.
Msondo aside, other major bands in which he has featured and of which he has been leader, include Nuta, Juwata and Sikinde.
His talents are particularly manifest in composing songs and spicing them with his distinctive supporting voice.
Above all, however, the maestro is credited with injecting into the music of bands he has been associated with, a rich blend of a rich, Tanzanian traditional touch, devoid of Congolese, Cuban and other foreign influences to which many others have been captive.