'Simz is a beautiful, loving and brilliant mother' – Tino Chinyani

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Tino Chinyani has big plans for the future and his son.
Tino Chinyani has big plans for the future and his son.

It wasn't that long ago that it seemed he could just go about his business, quietly, away from the spotlight.

Now everything he does is scrutinized. That's what happens when you transition from modelling to presenting some of the most popular shows on TV and then start dating one of SA's most beloved actresses. 

This is why their breakup has shocked their fans and followers collectively, with some taking to social media saying they hope it's a joke. 

But it's not. 

TV personality Tinotenda 'Tino' Chinyani and actress Simpiwe Ngema have gone their separate ways, which Simz announced on her Instagram.

He's a private man, he tells us. The 27-year-old is booked, busy and chasing his dreams; but he wants to make fatherhood his greatest job ever.

He and Simz share one-year-old son, Tiyani, a journey which he says has changed his life in all the best ways possible.

“Fatherhood has given me the motivation, the level-headedness, the patience and the unconditional love that has truly made me the man that I have always wanted to be. I am so thankful for Tiyani. There’s nothing but love in his eyes, and I want to give him all the best parts of me. And I think, in that, I am also learning to become a better man in all aspects,” Tino says.

While the proud parents announced an end to their beautiful love story this week, Tino has nothing but love and admiration for the mother of his child.

“We are private people, and I wish people would respect that. She is a beautiful, and loving person, an angel in human form, a brilliant mother, and a talented artist."

To young parents who are in a journey of co-parenting, Tino says don’t make it difficult for each other. 

“All the damages, the fighting and the arguments will not affect the parent as much as they affect the child. There must still be love and respect from both sides. Parents must understand whatever decisions they make will ultimately affect the child.”

Read more | Simz Ngema and Tino go their separate ways – 'An end to a beautiful love story'

Tino is known for his modelling, but his first love is basketball.

At school he was a deputy head boy and captain of the basketball team – all his life he wanted to be an athlete, but his parents wanted a 'normal' career for him. 

To further his studies, Tino moved from Zimbabwe to South Africa to pursue a marketing and management degree at Monash University. In 2014 while at varsity, he won the Mr Monash title. After that he was signed by Boss Models in 2015.

“I have always had a big appetite for success, wanting to improve myself and to showcase all that God has blessed me with,” he shares. 

Being in the entertainment industry and modelling were never part of his plan. “I have always known I’ll be successful at whatever I did, but I never knew it would come through entertainment. I knew that ultimately what I was doing would give me the life that I wanted and all I had to do was to be consistent,” he says. 

It was a move that his parents struggled to accept, resulting in his father cutting him off. But his career kicked off, he was on every billboard, he walked ramps all over Africa and for South Africa’s biggest designers, such as Rich Mnisi, MaXhosa and David Tlale.

“It was so beautiful to get that experience, to get that exposure because it opened me to a whole new world. That’s the beautiful thing about modelling, it puts you on a pedestal where you can see everything that you want to do, it exposes you so much that you can decide what you want to do from there, you can grow as you like.”

After a while, his father eventually approved of his career choices.

“My dad’s attitude completely switched from being pessimistic, anti-model, anti-entertainment to him being my biggest fan and supporter. We opened up about the things we had disagreements about in the past, and why I chose this path.”

But Tino does not feel like modelling is something that he wants to do for the rest of his life. “You can be more than a pretty face in life,” he says.

“I did not want to just be a model, I wanted to work, associate with brands, and put my marketing degree to good use,” he adds.

Tino has branched into digital marketing and founded his own company, Anchor View Media. He's also launched his own fashion line, Tiyani Africa, and he's making his mark on TV.

Read more | This is Tino Chinyani: model, actor and father to Simphiwe Ngema's baby

When he auditioned for the MTV Base VJ search he only made it to the top four. But it opened doors for him. Right after, Channel O contacted him to present the Channel O top five with TV personality Denise Zimba.

“That’s when entertainment became my life, it was such a beautiful journey. I was 22 at that time, on TV, in a different country and on an international platform.” He still beams with pride when he talks about his rise. 

Immediately after, he hosted e.TV's Morning Show, and his life has never been the same again. 

The entertainer is currently working on an EP. “I am trying to give people the real Tino, the soulful Tino, the more in touch with my spiritual side Tino, through my music,” he shares.

His EP will offer alternative R&B tracks. “I want people to get in touch with their soul, in touch with their feelings, to what matters to me and to what people should be in tune with.” 

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