Month: May 2015

The Empire Strikes Back-Operation Optimism

In 1986 just as Johannes Kerkorrel, James Phillips, Koos Kombuis and other artists were starting to use popular music as a cultural weapon against the Nationalist government, the government itself recognised the importance of music to relay propaganda messages. Whilst the ongoing unrest in the townships had brought South Africa to the brink of civil war, the government spent 4.3…

Some resources that I have drawn on

For my book I have drawn on a number of academic articles written about the influence of Johannes Kerkorrel and the Voëlvry movement on South African culture. Other resources that have been useful are the books “Kerkorrel” by Willem Pretorius and “Voëlvry – the Movement that Rocked South Africa”, by Pat Hopkins. Two interesting documentaries have been made about Johannes…

James Phillips and Johannes Kerkorrel – Their Legacy remains alive

Author Rian Malan wrote a best-selling, autobiographical account of his return to South Africa after having been in exile for eight years. It was fitting that the book, “My Traitor’s Heart” opened with the quote “How do I live in this strange place?” taken from the Bernoldus Niemand song “Reggae Vibes is Cool”. Bernoldus Niemand was the pseudonym used by…

Johannes Kerkorrel the unsung hero of Afrikaans Pop Music

Johannes Kerkorrel was a reporter, poet, father and singer who together with a group of musicians changed the face of Afrikaans pop music forever. These musicians also had a lasting impact on South African history, with many believing that their anti-Nationalist government stance and revolutionary lyrics hastened the demise of apartheid. I am writing a book about Kerkorrel and the…