By Petronella Sibeene
The road to fame is not an easy one. In the music industry, there are many musicians who despite their wondrous voices and charismatic stage presence have been through a lot and our own “The Dogg” is no exception.
Martin Morocky, known as The Dogg was born 24 years ago in Maheba, Zambia to Namibian parents and has two sisters and one brother.
Life was not so rosy as the kwaito star’s parents separated when he was six years old and his mother returned to Namibia.
One day his father brought him to visit his mother at Onayena village east of Ondangwa but his mother was not at home. The visit was supposed to last only for a few hours.
Morocky sneaked away from the homestead to a neighbour’s house.
“I ran into a mahangu field and later to a neighbour’s house because I did not want to go back with my father,” he narrates.
Two months later his mother came to Onayena for a three-week holiday.
“That was the last time I spent with my mother,” he said.
With the support of his uncle, “Tee Dee” started his formal education at Onayena.
The Dogg aspired to become a mechanical engineer although he had a passion for music. His brother is a civil engineer, one sister a geologist and the other is a successful businesswoman.
In 1997, young Morocky relocated to Windhoek to start his secondary education.
“My uncle wanted the best for me and he wanted me to go to Dobra or Windhoek High School but it was too late for registration,” he said.
Instead, he was accepted at Augustineum Secondary School.
With his burning passion for music, the young man would make an effort to get lyrics of big names at the time like 2PAC.
“I would listen carefully to the words. Then I started to write lyrics and showed them off at school,” he says.
Morocky once participated at the school’s talent show but never made it into the finals.
The determined young man gave it a try two years later and he became the toast of the school.
“I performed Onayena no.9 on Mendoza’s verstan beat from the Nkhalakhata album, it became popular at the school,” he says.
After graduating from high school, he chose to study for a Marketing Degree at the University of Namibia.
Morocky dropped out of university to pursue a music career.
“I dropped out of Unam. Most of the time I would be at Killa B’s room because he had a keyboard. My uncle gave me money for school but I invested it in music recording,” he reveals.
To gain popularity, Morocky would request well-established musicians such as his cousin Killa B and Jossy Joss to allow him to perform for a few minutes during their concerts at no cost.
In 2003, on New Year’s Eve, he performed Take out Ur Gun at Ongwediva, during which he introduced another artist, Gazza.
Mesmerised by his performance, one lady approached The Dogg and requested for his CD.
“It was a white lady and I told her that I was a performing artist. She asked me why I could not record and I told her it was because of finances,” he narrates.
Looking at the potential in him, the woman offered to sponsor his recordings and “from then, I never looked back,” says Morocky.
Morocky rose to fame with single hit Jesus Otati in 2003.
With time, he signed a record deal with RC-Ghetto Records where he and Gazza became label mates.
In early 2004, RC-Ghetto released the Dogg’s album Shimaliw-Osatana (money is the root to all evil), which became one of the country’s best-selling albums and enjoyed a lot of airplay.
The album was a success, earning The Dogg an Artist of the Year Award and another for Best Selling Artist at 2004 Sanlam NBC Music Awards.
Morocky worked on another hit entitled Take Out Ur Gun, which topped the music charts. With that release, he won the Artist of the year Award that earned him a trip to France.
He was recently nominated the best new comer during the Channel O awards.
“I am happy that I am recognised internationally,” he said.
In his short career, he has won more than 15 awards and he is considered one of the pioneers of Namibia’s kwaito genre.
His Clothing Line
Morocky believes that when the Lord blesses, he blesses abundantly.
It all started with a promotional T-shirt he printed out with a word mshasho.
Mshasho comes from an Oshiwambo word omushasho that means a shotgun.
All his fans wanted T-shirts printed mshasho.
Morocky has three brands, namely, The Dogg Tee Dee and Mshasho.
He is the first Namibian artist with a clothing line, including swimwear. In May this year, The Dogg celebrated four years in business.
He says most Western hip-hop singers have their own clothing lines and he believes the sky is a limit for him too.
The brand will soon be expanded to shoes, sunglasses and perfume, though that will come out under the Tee Dee line.
Loosing the Parents
Morocky lost his mother during his teens but never understood exactly what killed her.
He recalls his uncle telling him that his mother was sick and was transferred from Windhoek to Onandjokwe Hospital in northern Namibia.
On the day he went to the hospital to visit his mother, he was denied access.
“I did not understand why and as a kid, I started playing outside the ward with other children as I waited for my uncle and others to come out,” he says.
Morocky says he could hear his mothers’ voice from outside.
“I saw her hand but there was not much flesh on it,” he says.
Three weeks later, she died.
Morocky stumbled on his mother’s death certificate in his sister’s handbag a few months after burial. That is when he leant that his mother had succumbed to HIV/AIDS.
“I was shocked and I blame my relatives because they had told me she died from TB,” he said.
He was devastated and felt his family owed him for not telling him the truth from the beginning.
A few years later, he was told by one of the Census officials that his father had also died. He also died of the same disease.
Morocky’s Views on HIV/AIDS
He feels that parents should be open to their children about issues of sex and HIV/AIDS.
He condemns advertisements on the disease saying the campaigns are short-sighted and do not show the world how HIV/AIDS looks like.
“Show the pictures, people know the word HIV/AIDS but they do not know its face unless you go to hospitals,” he says.
He adds, “The advertisements should touch people.”
Being orphaned because of the disease, Morocky feels he can make a difference in someone’s life, someone affected by HIV/AIDS.
He approached the Catholic AIDS Action for a possible adoption of an HIV/AIDS orphan.
Today, he supports a 12-year-old boy – a pupil at Frans Indongo Primary School.
“The boy reminds me of myself. I will do my best to ensure that he gets better education,” he says.
The Dogg aspires to see Mshasho become an international company contributing meaningfully to the Namibian economy.
He would also like to get more involved in charity work with his passion to work more with those affected and infected with HIV/AIDS.
“I believe a person can make it in life no matter how rough the road can be,” he said.