Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Bok van Blerk - De la Rey!
There have been mumblings that this is a call for leadership today. A call to arms for the Afrikaaner nation. A desire for times that have past. ‘De la Rey’ has caused such a stir that it was even played on 5FM at peak times last week, something that would normally not happen on a mainstream popular radio station. But listening to DJ Fresh discussing it will callers afterwards, I was amazed at how many emotions this track stirs in people.
The Department of Culture issued a statement that they weren’t particularly worried about a call to arms, and that the song is merely a historical curiosity. If it was intended to be potentially subversive, then “those who incite treason, whatever methods they employ, might well find themselves in difficulties with the law”. Opposition parties immediately responded that the song is not nearly as subversive as ANC President Jacob Zuma’s constant attempt at a Pop Stars audition with his “Umshini Wami” (Bring me my machine gun).
I think the point is that the song has raised the profile of Bok, and well done to him for that – it’s difficult enough for artists to get airplay for their best material – and that goes especially for Afrikaans artists. Unless you're Fokokpolisiekar that is!
As for the message, well, I think most white pre-1994 Matriculants were used to hearing a lot of hero worship about the Boer leaders, and how they managed to draw the Brits into a war they thought would be a cup of tea. It was supposed to be over in weeks, but lasted three years, and here we are in 2007 still getting all touchy about it!
General De la Rey died from a police bullet on 15 September 1914, after having driven through a roadblock intended to catch the Foster Gang that had been on a crime spree for months. But it is also claimed that he was on his way to start a rebellion against supporting Brittan in the 1st World War... an interesting story of political skulduggery,terrifying crime, police blunders and a world that doesn't seem to have learnt much in 100 years...
Have a great week!
07/02/19 UPDATE: It seems that although I said a lot had already been said about this track, this past weekend Bok van Blerk was again making headlines; he was on the front cover of Rapport; there was a feature about the track on MNet's Carte Blanche; and it was even played on John Maythams show on
Ultimately, Bok van Blerk has opened a can of worms; worms it seems that were wiggling like crazy to get out!
We're going to hear it awhile longer, and with its catchy tune, it has every chance of growing into a major hit. I the process, as I said, Bok van Blerk is getting more attention than he would ever be able to afford!