The first time you meet Vicky Doz (Daughter of Zion) Vilakazi you pick up that she's a beautiful woman and has a lot of drive and passion for life. Here is my heart to heart interview with her.
Inside Woman: Tell us a little about your personal walk with Jesus Christ and how has that relationship shaped your life?
Vicky Vilakazi: I was raised in a strong Christian home but I had not made a decision to receive Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Saviour. People make the mistake of believing that if they parents are involved in ministry then they are automatically saved. But that’s not true. We all have to make the decision to accept Jesus Christ as a personal Lord and Saviour. I was saved when I was ten years old in 1971 at a tent crusade hosted by Christ for all Nations in Natal.
Inside Woman: Do you believe that a person can be saved apart from the Lord Jesus Christ?
Vicky Vilakazi: There’s no Salvation without Jesus. The reason why He came was for me to be saved. God send His Only Son so that we can be reconciled to Him. Jesus is the One who reconciles us to God. He’s the bridge that brings us to God.
Inside Woman: There are so many scandals in the faith. What advice would you give someone who’s trying to open up to God but feels that Christians are not living out their truth?
Vicky Vilakazi: When you see people who are confessing Jesus Christ as Lord messing up, that shouldn’t be a reason for you not to want God or quit. It doesn’t work like that. I’ve made a decision that even you come and tell me that you caught my father right handed with young girls in bed, I will still love him and embrace him as my father. And I will not talk about that nor live God because of my father’s mistakes. Salvation is a business between two people – God and me. That is why I cannot be saved because my father is a pastor. So if my father is messing up, God will deal with him. I personally like hanging out with people who are rejects. I don’t hang out with spiritual virgins – people who have no experience, people who like to act like they’ve never done anything wrong. All of us make mistakes but it’s different for public figures because their mistakes are known by the world. But it doesn’t mean that you are perfect because people don’t know about our issues. I understand that I have the opportunity to fall like they did and even if it’s not me it could be my brother or child or family member. And if we can learn as Christians that the devil is after the seed of a woman, that we are constantly facing battles. So if I see my brother struggling, being robbed by satan in a certain way I need to understand that this is a battle. There are things that I had to fight in life - some battles I won and some battles I lost but I stood up. So why should I turn against so and so because the papers said this about them. I would encourage you and say, even if they say that you are all alone, I will stand with you openly. If they stone you, they can stone me too.
Inside Woman: How has the journey been for you so far?
Vicky Vilakazi: I got into the music industry professionally in 1989. Having to live my parent’s house and Church as a singer; and being exposed to the outside world - to a world where people don’t think like or talk like my parents - was really different. When I met people outside they told me that I had something special, that my voice was unique. I didn’t even know that I was a soprano singer but the world spotted that talent. And when you hear these things about you, you start to believe that you are better than others and the devil tries to plant pride in you. But you remember how the devil fell and that takes you back to your parents teaching. I went through the stages of life but I think my upbringing protected and helped me to make better decisions in life. Even when I failed, I was able to rise above those mistakes because of the way I was raised. And when you join the industry as a girl you enjoy being mothered by women who have been in the industry for some time. But you find that some of them abuse their positions but I’ve been protected.
Inside Woman: You have always had a great relationship with your mother and you always speak of her so beautifully. Many a times as women we struggle with our relationships with our mothers.
Vicky Vilakazi: Prayer unites. I was connected to my mother like when they are in the belly. But children start disconnecting from their mothers when they are born. My mother was smarter to tighten up our relationship through prayer. And she keeps telling me stories of when I was younger and the fights she had to fight on my behalf. What has made my mother my hero is the way she raised us. She didn’t raise us with a crab mentality where. If she had made mistakes, she never made them in front of us. If she had negative struggles in life, she never showed them to us. If she was fighting with my dad, we never saw them as her children.
Inside Woman: Besides your mother, who has been your mentor?
Vicky Vilakazi: I don’t have one particular woman that I can say that she’s been keeping me. I have what I call seasonal women in my life. When I started working with Pastor Benjamin Dube, I knew that I away from home, I had uGog Dube (Benjamin Dube’s mother) who was looking after us. When we came from performances and we had done certain things wrong, she would scold us and I knew she was my mother away from home.
And as I was growing up, I was working with uMom Miriam Makeba. I knew uGog Miriam was my mother. She loved cooking for us and after every performance we would come back to her home and enjoy a meal. I remember when we were performing in Ethiopia and at that time she had a problem with her knee. After every show I would go to her room and massage her knee and while I was massaging her knee she would pour out her wisdom in me. She would tell me about what she went through in the music industry. She also taught me about my rights in the music industry and what I needed to protect to become a success. She would call her grandson to come and teach me about music publishing. And what mom Miriam taught me is what has saved me because I’m smarter and no one can mess with me. It has closed doors for me in certain areas because people don’t like clever people in the industry. But I’m happy with that.
I’ve also worked with mom Sibongile Khumalo. She’s taught me a lot of things but mostly how to be the best vocalist I can be. At the time those things she said seem significant but I choose not to ignore them. I still do those things that she taught me.
Inside Woman: It seems that women (more so than men) tend to struggle with issues like gossip and backbiting, and are often too quick to take offense. How can we help women to curb those so called natural female tendencies to really have healthy relationships that last?
Vicky Vilakazi: I have had one friend who has been more than a friend to me since 1986. She is like a sister and her name is Pamela. She is a true friend in the sense that if I’m not at home, if there is a problem here at home, she’s the one who will alert me. We are not related but we have grown to be family; and that’s what I call friendship. These other relationships that we have are really for convenience and it’s all about what people can get out of it. If we are friends because you are in the music industry but we struggle to be friends outside the industry then we are not really friends. But a true friend sticks closer than a brother.
Inside Woman: As Christians we like to associate ourselves with other Christians. How do you see your faith helping you as you are working with people who are not necessarily Christians?
Vicky Vilakazi: My faith in God and the wisdom that God gives me guides me to make sober decisions. We are not the only people living in this world; we have all kinds of people living with us here. Jesus taught His disciples to pray, “Let Your Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.” Even though we are of another Kingdom, we are still in this Kingdom. And this Kingdom is not going to give us peace but we are able to receive help from the Kingdom above to live out values in this corrupt Kingdom.
Inside Woman: You are handling success well. What is your secret?
Vicky Vilakazi: God has given me grace in that I know how to spot a good thing and hold on to it. When a person comes into my life, I’m able to take the good from them and live the rest. Everything that I am it is because of the lessons I’ve learned from other people. I love hanging out with older people more than my peers. Like when I went to Klerksdorp I met a bishop who became my spiritual father. When I met him I knew that something was happening in the spirit that was God ordained. He has been my teacher and I call him every time I go out to preach. Sometimes he just calls me just to minister to me and to speak wisdom.
I also have a life coach, dr John Tibane. If dr Tibane didn’t come into my life as a life coach, I would not have been able to drive a new car that I’m driving now. Before I met Doc, I was working and making money but I was driving my dad’s cars. But as soon as I met dr Tibane, he taught me that a gift without an entrepreneurial thinking and life skill is useless. Which means your gift will not benefit you until you learn how take care of it. He taught me to account for every cent I earn.
I also have spiritual mentors and I’ve also been guided here at home. Even though I have faced trials along the way, I am focused because I have this people to ground me.