Now that Tina Turner, the Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll is gone, ‘we do not need another hero’—Charles Simango

By Duncan Mlanjira

Out of the ruins

Out from the wreckage

Can’t make the same mistake this time

We are the children

The last generation (the last generation, generation)

We are the ones they left behind

And, I wonder when we are ever gonna change, change

Living under the fear, ’til nothing else remains

We don’t need another hero

We don’t need to know the way home

All we want is life beyond Thunderdome— ‘We Don’t Need Another Hero’ (Tina Turner; November 26, 1939 – May 24, 2023)

“Gone at 83, this heroine of mine, Tina Turner,” writes seasoned and revered Malawian journalist, Charles Simango in his eulogy of the Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll, who passed on on Wednesday in Switzerland.


Simango wrote on Facebook:

Except for a short, 1-year stint that ended badly at MISA-Malawi, I have been a hustler (which is polite for unemployed) since 1999. And when you are one of those, you know that there those isolated times when you get a big payout in between very loooong seasons of drought. Well, during those rare occasions, I have a ritual that I perform each time that big cheque comes in.

After the cheque has been cleared and I make my first withdrawal, my first stop is the nearest supermarket where I buy myself a bar of Magnun icecream.

I then sit in the car and enjoy that bar — no music, no radio. Just me and the Magnum. I call it malipiro a wantchito (From Timothy 5:18b “The worker deserves his wages.”). Once I am done, I drive off to wherever my next stop is while playing Tina Turner’s ‘We Don’t Need Another’, to celebrate that triumph.

As the song plays, I can see her, clearly, in my mind. Shaggy wig (long before she went short), black overcoat on top of a short, red dress that looks more like a night dress, 6 inch stilletos, sweat dripping down her face, one hand on mic as she rocks back and forth, calmly bellowing out her unsexy, not-so-feminine voice before a mammoth evening crowd in Rio de Janeiro.

As the song climbs towards the bridge, Tina slowly starts to rise above the stage on a circular pedestal. It keeps rising until she is left standing some 10 feet or so above the stage, which from a low-shot looks like she is tens of feet in the sky.

As soon as she reaches the zennith, she hits the crescendo with full force, veins fully popped out of her neck and arms fully spread out with no fear of falling. And as the song climbs down to the finale, the pedestal starts to come down, bringing her fully back to the ground just as the song comes to an end.

“My dream has always been to fill up a big stadium like this one,” she says before doing her last song. “And today it has happened. Thank you, Rio”.

I still keep that Rio 1998 double DVD set and I intend to keep it forever, even though I do not have a DVD player and I see no hope of owning any ever — they don’t make them anymore.


For me, that show is the best personification of one person’s triumph over adversity – ever. I watched the movie What’s Love Got to Do With It, she has mesmerized me with her dance moves in those 6 inch high heels, even at age 60, but none of those come even close to that moment in Rio when she did that song.

And just so you know how powerful that moment and that anthem has been in my life, I never even had a crush on her — did not even pay any attention to her, popular, long legs (someone’s happy). And in my book, people, that is power — to be able to awe only for what cometh out of your being despite your supposedly amazing bodily assets.

Rest well, Tina Turner, Fare thee well, Queen of Rock n Roll.

And, no, we do not need another hero!

Simango joins many tributes that have been poured on this gentle soul with her spokesperson, saying: “With her, the world loses a music legend and a role model”.

Among the first to pay tribute were Sir Mick Jagger, Sir Elton John, Diana Ross, Bette Midler and Giorgio Armani, with Rolling Stones frontman Jagger saying: “She was truly an enormously talented performer and singer. She was inspiring, warm, funny and generous. She helped me so much when I was young and I will never forget her.”

Sir Elton John posted a picture of himself with Turner and said she was “untouchable” and a “total legend on record and on stage”.

Her manager of 30 years, Roger Davies, called her “a unique and remarkable force of nature with her strength, incredible energy and immense talent. I will miss her deeply”.

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