• Jeremiah Ndjoze
That he lives an isolated, modest existence is not well documented. That he is going through the motions of living without any real attraction to the glitz and glamour is perceptible.
It helps that he is a happily married father of seven. Tokhoto Gottfried is one of the best vocalists to have emerged from the dusty streets of Katutura with a jampacked project titled Promises Are back in 1996, following it up with Earth Love Crazy in 2000, before going into hibernation.
In his backyard flat in Wanaheda, he was jamming to some of his old songs with musician and childhood friend, Menrose. It was enchanting to note that his talent has emerged from the woods unscathed. “To put it mildly I really don’t know where I was musically over the past decade and a half. I simply put down the guitars and became a different type of hustler. I was just raising my children and seeing my family through one day at a time,” Tokhoto says. It is saddening, though, to note that tragedy had a hand in his disappearance with him revealing the death of both his parents, barely months apart in 2007. The subsequent extended period of grieving dealt him a hard blow.
“I was in England trying to forge industry connections and I had to come back for my mother’s funeral. Shortly after that my father also died. I was seriously [hurt] because it came as a shock to me. My parents were full of life,” he reveals. Needless to say that at the time of the time of his breakdown he had a single that was packaged and set for release titled Big G – which was a tribute song to the Namibian government. The boxes of CDs that were packed for the overseas market are still intact.
A founding member of the University of Namibia (Unam)’s now defunct ‘Legend’ band, Tokhoto is not only as sensational vocalist with instrumental prowess but also boasts with a Diploma in Music from the same university.
But maintains that he is most contented on stage and vows to return to his bevy of followers with a musical performance later this month. Set to blaze a new trail under new management, excitedly he also reveals that he will soon get into the studio to record material while breathing freshness into some of the old ones before the end of the year. But for now he plans to take it one day at a time to regain his groove. “I’ve got the full support of my immediate family, my kids, and the eldest studying medicine in Cuba while the second just aced grade 12 and is also preparing to go to the States (USA). Now I can do music with peace of mind,” Tokhoto signs off.