Miriam Makeba and Oliver Mtukudzi are working on a single

Edward Tsumele

Edward Tsumele

South African veteran jazz musician Miriam Makeba and Zimbabwean superstar Oliver Mtukudzi are to release a single together, Sowetan learnt yesterday.

This collaboration, once finished, is likely to cause ripples in the local music industry because both musicians represent the finest of voices on the southern African music scene.

Mtukudzi's new album called Tsimba Itsoka has been completed and will be released this month.

But the single will be released on Makeba's new album, scheduled for release later this year.

"Yes I am aware that Oliver and Makeba have been working together for some time on this collaboration. However, what I cannot say is how far that collaboration is. But as far as Oliver's new album is concerned, it is currently in production and will be released soon," said Rob Cowling, general manager of Sheer Sound - the company to which Mtukudzi is contracted.

Makeba could not be reached yesterday as she was scheduled to perform in Italy on Monday and yesterday.

Graeme Gilfilian, Makeba and Mtukudzi's business affairs manager, would not deny or confirm that the two music icons were collaborating.

"I work with both artists and at this stage I prefer not to comment on the matter."

This is not the first time that Mtukudzi has collaborated with South African musicians.

His collaboration with South African talented vocalist Ringo, in his 2000 album Buyile, was successful as it introduced him to the local music market. He also worked with Steve Dyer and other southern African musicians on the Mahube project, which also became a success.

Makeba became a singer in the 1950s and is remembered well from the generation of yesteryear for her formation of the successful jazz ensemble, Skylarks, in the 1950s after her stint with the Manhattan Brothers.

The Grammy award- winner last released an album, Homeland, in 2001, which was nominated for a Grammy in the same year.