Written by: SIMBARASHE MANHANGO
Currently, he may be enjoying commercial success but, disapproval and negative criticism from parents are stiff obstructions that have been hurled his way and he has had to deal with that.
In 2009, soon after completing “O” Levels, Tocky Vybz’s parents were less than thrilled at his determination to pursue music because in their culture, careers in music were not respected.
He eventually lost his parents’ sympathy, a reality that forced him to relocate back to Masvingo, his rural home.
By this time, Tocky had just released his first hit single Ndirikumhanya that put him on a different stage, earning him commendable popularity.
Following the fallout, he had to make bold decisions, making a resolution to stay alone in Rusape and at the same time pretending to be in Masvingo, where his parents wanted him to be.
He lost his parents’ faith and broke family relations in exchange for his passion — music.
Since then, he has stood the test of time and has never stopped performing.
“In Rusape, things were not moving on well for me. I had to meet the realities of having to strive to pay rent and cover other life expenses before music even started generating sustainability,” he said.
“These were difficult moments, but I pulled through after Guspy Warrior vowed to assist me to record and foot travelling expenses, something that I will always remember and respect him for.”
His script is reminiscent of Guspy Warrior’s fallout with his father, veteran gospel musician Mechanic Manyeruke.
Coming back and forth every day from Rusape to Harare to record music, Tocky Vybz finally recorded the track Batai Homwe under the Vigilance stable fronted by Winky D.
He then came to Harare for what he refers to as “the life-changing moment”, performing during a concert that was held at the Harare Gardens.
It is not surprising that this is the same occasion his parents learnt of his absence at their Masvingo home. This even worsened the circumstances between him and his parents.
Nevertheless, a relative invited Tocky Vybz to stay with him at his home in Harare while he helped him sort out his personal issues and further his music career.
He managed to record tracks such as Mhai, Ngoma Dzonaka and Ndini Ndinorira that have established him as one of the fastest growing artistes in dancehall circles.
“After I recorded these tracks, things just changed unexpectedly. My parents actually started developing interest to mend relations and I knew that God had answered my prayers,” he said.
“For the first time after three years, I came back to my parents’ house and reunited with my family. I dedicated the song Mhai to my mother — a personal song that carries a message of reconciliation and commitment between me and my mother. My parents finally gave me the chance to explore and unlock my talent.”
Since then, Tocky Vybz says music has been a source of comfort in his life.
“I would consider music to be more than a passion for me. It is more like a never-failing friend,” Tocky Vybz said.
In no time, he has gained reputation as a gifted rhymer whose lyrics stand taller than his own musical journey.
“My lyrics have always been about giving hope. They are inspired by nature and personal experiences and they can relate to anyone who went through the same,” he said.
After such a rough ride to success, Tocky Vybz is now certainly among the most revered dancehall artistes.
One of his strengths has, however, been his humility and sober lyricism that unlike his peers’, can be listened to on any platform.