By Trust Khosa recently in Glendale
Tocky Vibes has rubbished claims by an old man from Glendale in Mashonaland Central, that he is his father.
Born John Vashico, the self-confessed HIV positive grandpa, has become the talk of the farming community of Glendale and surrounding farms for his miserable lifestyle amidst claims that he is Tocky’s father.
Known for hopping from place to place begging for left overs in homes, funerals and even public places, Vashico is in serious need of help – even psychological help if Tocky’s story is anything to go by.
H-Metro took time to sit down with the old man to hear the story that he has preached as gospel truth to the whole of Glendale.
He claimed to have fathered 10 other children beside Tocky and also confessed to neglecting them.
In an exclusive interview with H-Metro at his compound at Fox Farm, which is on the verge of decimation following the expansion of Eastview suburb encroaching the compound area, Vashico said misery was now his middle name.
“I have been living in poverty for the greater part of my life despite being blessed with 11 biological children who are living large.
“Some are in Harare, Mazowe and Chitungwiza but they are no longer catering for me.
“I know I neglected them at some point but I’m really sorry for what happened,” he said.
Asked how he was surviving, the frail-looking Vashico said:
“I move around collecting left overs at funerals, homes and public places like bars and even at the bus terminus in bins.
“I sell some of the left over like sadza to those breeding pigs for ZWL$10 for a bucket.
“If I get nice stuff from the left overs, I also eat some of them for survival.
“I have been leading this life for a while and when I heard that you were coming here, I said ‘the Lord has heard my prayers’ but to be honest, it’s not easy for an old man with 11 children and of course several grandchildren to be leading such a shameful life.”
Asked why he neglected his children, he blamed it on their cultural beliefs which give mothers full control of children.
“Originally, I am from Malawi and full responsibility of children used to be given to mothers.
“We were only there to give them children and provide here and there but things have changed now.
“During our time when we were very religious, we used to take some of the beliefs seriously but it’s no longer the same as compared to the old days when culture was still culture,” he said.
He, however, said he was ready to make up with his children and lead a normal life since he was reduced to a pauper.
Vashico said his marital woes started when he lost his first wife Rosemary Toro, which saw him resorting to alcohol abuse to ease stress.
“I broke up with my first wife Rosemary Toro years back.
“I went on to marry other women like Lenia Mwale and now I am staying with another woman called Junior Miti.
“We don’t have children with the current woman I stay with since she can’t give birth.
“In other words we are just staying together and we don’t have children.
“It’s unfortunate she could not be here when you came and she has gone to the shops.
“As for my broken family, I am just begging for forgiveness.”
The self-confessed HIV positive man suspects his condition could be worsening as he is developing a lump close to his manhood.
“I have been taking my ARVs religiously and I make sure that when they are running out, I go and queue for them with others at the local clinic.
“As you know, people on ARVs require nutritious diet and I do appeal to people to help us if they can.
“Today I am happy because I managed to but a 5kg of mealie meal from menial jobs but it is never enough to sustain me.
“I would be happy if I can get a proper diet and I think one of my children will be able to buy me something delicious after reading this stories.”
On his alleged feud with Tocky Vibes, Vashico said it was expected of the chanter to hate him but he now wants peace. He seemed convinced that the Zimdancehall star is his flesh and blood despite Tocky having proof that his real father is a truck driver in South Africa and that his mother is none of the women mentioned by the Glendale man.
“I know Tocky is bound to dislike me because I never stayed with him.
“I would be lying to say I stayed with him but he is my son and I have nothing to prove or hide.
“I hear he is doing well in Harare and I will be happy if he could come here and forgive me.
“In my case, I have forgiven him already and he should also do the same.
“I once attended Tocky Vibes’ show when he came to perform in Bindura along with Freeman but I was shut out.
“When I went to his parked car, there were these beautiful fat women there who blocked me.
“I then proceeded to the venue but I was blocked when I was about to see him.
“I was close by the stage but the security blocked me and I came back home empty-handed.”
Despite the embarrassment, Vashico says he is an avid follower of Tocky’s music.
“I always play his music here using homemade banjos which I keep at home.
“I was once a musician in my right and I can sing well.
“I wish him the best wherever he is and I hope I could meet him one day,” he said.
Despite wallowing in poverty, Vashico has some life skills which can take him places if well managed.
“To be honest with you, I am a farmer and traditional healer.
“I can heal cancer and other ailments at the compound but my patients underpay me.
“I can heal STIs, back pains and even cancer like I said before if people adhere to what I tell them.
“The only problem is that some of the patients don’t want to pay while others don’t return afterwards.
“Unlike most sangoma who can punish his defaulting patients, I prefer forgiving them because I know very well that one day or the other they will come back,” he said.
On a parting shot, Vashico said all he wanted at the moment was support.
“As you can see, I am a sick man and I need basics like cooking oil, mealie-meal, beans among other foodstuff for HIV patients like us.
“My only fear at the moment is that I might die without uniting my family.
“To my kids, they must also know that I still remains their father despite our differences,” he added.
But it is his claim to be Tocky Vibe’s father that has made him popular in Glendale.
All the facts – albeit minus a DNA test – points to this old man’s claims being a big fat lie but he has stuck to his story. H Metro