Die Antwoord – is it blackface?

There’s been a very interesting discussion on Sean’s Africa is a Country blog, on whether Die Antwoord is blackface. Now I was not even familar with the term. Wikipedia defines it as -

Blackface is theatrical makeup used in the United States and around the world, where the practice became popular during the 19th century, it became associated with certain archetypes of American racism such as the “happy-go-lucky darky on the plantation” or the “dandified coon “. Hence Blackface has become associated with racism, particularly in the USA, so that the term may be used in a broader sense to include similarly stereotyped performances even when they do not involve blackface makeup.

A certain Rustum Kozain had written -

Had Ninja been white working class with actual regular, day-to-day interaction with people on the Cape Flats, then the parodic would have no purchase; nor would accusations of appropriation. Or had Ninja, for instance, rapped in a mixture of white working class English and Afrikaans and Cape Flats English and Afrikaans, without developing the visual embellishments, then the social commentary and satire would have stood out in relief. And it would have been an interesting point about fluid identities emphasised. But the visual embellishments – especially the tattoos that tread gingerly between celebration and disavowal of prison-gang style and the gold teeth – do point to appropriation and Waddy Jones has not suddenly discovered his ‘inner coloured’.

To which a certain Andy replied:

“We live in a country where people spent their whole lives under apartheid trying to be re-classified as white if they were coloured, and coloured if they were black. And now, in the post apartheid dispensation, people are actually free to choose whatever racial group they’d like to belong to. These definitions are fluid and shifting. There are no hard edges between black and white. But all the “academic discourse” is up in arms about the “authenticity” of Die Antwoord? When in actual fact they’re missing the point. Kozain calls it appropriation and hints towards a kind of exploitation of coloured culture. Which really just smacks of sour grapes – as if culture is sanctified and hallowed ground not to be investigated and explored by “others”. Jones/Ninja is a South African. What’s to stop him being and communicating anything he wants to? Proudly, South Africa is a melting pot. This is what happens in a melting pot. Shit coalesces. People are influenced and find value in a diverse experiences, cultures and ideas. All this chin stroking really just shows people up for what they are. Resistant to change. Resistant to new ideas and fresh approaches. Afraid… and falling back on old, tired arguments that erase all the rather unique nuances of the creative, like default positions. Blackface! Racist! Inauthentic!”

I have said it before myself. A divided country like South Africa desperately needs these cultural mashups. South Africa is a country in tremendous change identities are more fluid here than most other places.

(And besides, I think to make a straight black white comparison with the USA is not very helpful. South Africa and the USA have very different histories. Is South African coloured a plain shade of black as in the US? Die Antwoord means something similar & different in an South African context than it does in the US.)

PS: Also notable is Any’s descriptions of Ninja’s tjappies (Tatoos):

The tattoo on his right arm is of Evil Boy – derived from Casper the Friendly Ghost with a huge “piel” symbol of the 28s gang. The sex lovers, sodomites and rapists.
The tattoo in the middle of his chest is the symbol of the 27s the murderers and prison enforcers of the number code.
That tattoo on his right breast is of Richie Rich, symbol of the 26s – the money lovers, thieves and scoundrels. So don’t come with that bull that he carefully selected prison tjappies that don’t have direct references. Research!

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Related deployments:

  1. Die Antwoord pics by Katvrou
  2. Die Antwoord offers some rude solutions
  3. Die Antwoord goes phallic with evil boy
  4. I’m a Ninja – Die Antwoord
  5. Die Antwoord disappoints

27 Responses

  1. Sean says:

    C’mon. Where you’ve been? What is this: “Now I was not even familar with the term.” You’ve never heard of the “coon” carnival and the whole problematic history around this in Cape Town?

    And what is this: “a certain Rustum Kozain.”

  2. Sean says:

    Ek wil net byvoeg: Dankie vir die crossposting.

  3. Sean says:

    Ek verwag beter van jou. In broederlike groete.

  4. Kameraad Mhambi says:

    I don’t know Rustum Kozain. I quite often use that phrase when I quote people. Does it indicate a certain distance from Rustum, especially since I introduced Andy as Andy. Then the answer is yes perhaps. Why? Well because I liked what Andy was saying and I disagreed with Rustum.

    Secondly, I have never heard of the terms ‘blackface’. So shoot me. Sorry! Shall I commit hari kiri for my ignorance?

    Now the ‘Coon carnival’ I know of and my mom took me to see it, and I have heard of arguments by people that it’s racist and degrading. Once again I have to admit I have never read the history of the Coon Carnival. But what I do know is that its coloured performers performing songs they have written, where they choose how they will look and which they organise from start to finish.

    Blackface, as I understand it is white performers painting their faces black, and then acting out the archetype “happy-go-lucky darky on the plantation”. I’m sure there are examples of black performers who were asked to perform similar roles, so perhaps the face painting is ‘moot’. The wikipedia article says, this ‘blackface’ practice was common all over the world. Was it in South Africa? To be banal about it, I can’t ever remember seeing or hearing a white act the role of a black in SA?

    In old Afrikaans movies, blacks were lion clothes warriors attacking ox wagons. ‘Happy go-lucky’ characters were played by the likes of El Debbow as a white.

    English SA was way too political correct to do the same. Actors like John Kani etc roles can not be called ‘Blackface’ can it?

    South Africa is a seething nest of racism but your in danger of projecting racist manifestations in the west on South Africa. The impetus reasons and dynamics were rather specific.

    One of the reason Andy’s retort struck a chord, is that I find it astonishing that people like Rustum question a group like Die Antwoord’s bona fides in this way.

    For a start, Die Antwoord does not project being happy go luckym or stupid. They project being bad ass and hardegat.

    If Die Antwoord was parodying dominant black music culture as it in SA they would have had to wear diesel jeans, drive a Merc, and wear Lacoste T-Shirts and speak English with a posh accent. In South Africa real hip hop has always been bigger in the Cape Flats, while Kwaito was going down everywhere else.

    What I mean by ‘real’ hip hop I mean hip hop as an expression of a culture on the margins. Coloured culture never came out of the margins after apartheid and Afrikaner culture is now moving towards it.

    Just a cursory glance at our history, with its iron cast identity politics and the Afrikaner’s foibles should make it abundantly clear that Die Antwoord is a vars briesie.

    The first whitey to call himself an Afrikaner – an African – in this country, his sister was coloured! And he was deported for swearing and drunken misbehavior from South Africa. Coloureds have as much of a hand if not more in the creation of Afrikaans. And then we have the nightmare and the rejection of coloureds that was Afrikaner Nationalist politics – a lot of which I would argue came from an inferiority complex vis a vis English SA, and manifested itself in an ugly sense of superiority over everybody else.

    To cut a long argument short. For Afrikaners to find redemption in South Africa, and to save Afrikaans, they should not so much stand up for their rights, they should sit down (And I don’t mean that in a demeaning way at all). They should find their ‘inner coloured’ and embrace their own working class roots, and their coloured brothers.

    This might be a romantic dream, but so what, at least I’m still dreaming.

    What is ironic, but perhaps to be expected – is now that Afrikaners are starting to soek toenadering to coloured SA, it is often rejected. Serves them right I suppose. Elke boontjie kry sy loontjie.

  5. Kameraad

    you could of course, as a gesture of common decency and intellectual honesty, link to the original comment, so that readers who care enough can read the quotation in the original context.

    As your post is about Die Antwoord = Blackface, you can at least include the statement I make in this regard: “To me, Die Antwoord is basically blackface and blackface is tricky; it exists on a continuum from satire to parody to mimicry to misdirected appropriation, but the points on the continuum are given valency by reception. As Ninja and Yo-landi are personas, I’ll take Die Antwoord as satirical.”

    Note that I do not dismiss ‘blackface’ out of hand.

    http://penguin.book.co.za/blog/2010/02/19/richard-poplak-writes-on-die-antwoord/#comment-25813

  6. Kameraad Mhambi says:

    The first link on this page above links to amongst other things where you say:

    “To me, Die Antwoord is basically blackface and blackface is tricky; it exists on a continuum from satire to parody to mimicry to misdirected appropriation, but the points on the continuum are given valency by reception. As Ninja and Yo-landi are personas, I’ll take Die Antwoord as satirical.”

    And all your retorts and come backs are behind that links as well.

    It’s a bit rich to accuse someone of intellectual dishonesty on such a flimsy basis I’d say.

    In your original comment you say – the ‘distance between artist and persona also opens it up to all sorts of accusations, among them cynical appropriation. Does Waddy Jones believe in this act of embracing? Why then not use his real name? Why displace it onto a persona?’

    Could you explain to me what you mean by this? Especially cynical appropriation? Can you ‘unpack’ that?

  7. afrikola says:

    semantics and linguistics ! …die blikkie se boem is uit, hoor hoe slaan die Ghoema, “Untill the colour of a mans skin is of no more significance,than the colour of his eyes”. In my limited knowledge of Afrikaapse Rap it is interesting though,that in the song that I believe to best represent this argument,Emile YXs,Who Am I,he “appropriates” Afrikaner icons,Spiekeries and Liewe Heksie in order to highlight racism within his own community.And calls himself a Tweede Nuwejaar supporter.And once we see no more than the red of our blood,show me the man without a mask !

  8. SD says:

    I think Rustum hit the nail on the head with this:

    “This to me is interesting: that Die Antwoord suggests a fusion of white Afrikaans working class and ‘coloured’ working class identities, expressed in the most eloquent way through dialect/s.”

    The character of Ninja is not really a gangster from the flats or a superstar rapper, but he aspires to be these things. In actual fact you would be more likely to find Ninja and his mom and Yo-landi living with her granny in a suburb like Brooklyn or Ysterplaat, where the colour line between white, black, coloured, indian has already blurred in reality.

    If you’ve been to Ysterplaat or Brooklyn and spoken to some of the kids you’ll find characters very similar to Ninja. They listen to rave music on their mobiles and aspire to become rap stars or gang members because they think it’s cool. On the outside they appear to be “white” but when they speak they sound “coloured”.

    But I have to disagree with Rustum when he goes on to say: “But it cannot escape parody.”

    Do I have to be a gangster or originate from a black working class background in the States to be allowed to appreciate/love/embrace the Wu-Tang Clan, Ice T, NWA and Dead Prez?

    Is Eminem and Slim Shady then parody as well because he doesn’t perform under the name Marshall Bruce Mathers III and he’s not black and from the ghetto? I suppose you’ll then say that the difference with Marshall is that he was active in a black group called D12 and that he grew up poor and in Detroit.

    Well is it not enough then that Waddy has been a dedicated hip hop performer his whole life spanning a career in hip hop since the early nineties? Does it make it better that he moved into Alexandra Township and lived there for a few years? Or how about the fact that since he moved to Cape Town he has collaborated with a number of legendary coloured rappers like Duppie, Isaac Mutant, Knoffel, Scally, Jaak Paarl. Is it less of a parody that they actually perform on the flats and at venues like the Purple Turtle? Or the fact that Yo-landi’s best friend is coloured?

    The same goes for Ninja’s tattoos. Is it realistic for a prisoner to have tjappies from all three gangs? The 26s 27s and the 28s? I think not.

    In “Wie maak die jol vol” he says himself: “Hello mense, quick put your hands up, die moerefokken Ninja is keeping it gangster. Hos. Keep pull your pants up I’m 27, 8 wait 26 vriendelik! No man I’m joking I’m 44 do a lot of yoga, meditate smoke blunts levitate rook tik, maak die hele fokken huis skoon tjop tjop praat ‘n klomp kak soos ‘n vrotkop”

    Could it be possible that they are really embracing and championing this mash-up culture of white rap rave coloured flats slang Afrikaans Wat Kyk JY? culture?

    I for one believe their hearts are in the right place and I’ll be rooting for them all the way to the top.

  9. Anonymous says:

    If you have a mashup of cultures you lose diversity. Do you not support multiculturism?

  10. I have some grave doubts about multi-cultural-ism.

    But I do support and envy multiculturism as symbolised best for me in a city like New York.

    But of course as is seen in New York, on the edges of these cultures things start to bleed together, and thats where you often get the most interesting art, culture, and music. Look at Jazz, look at Jackson Pollock, look at Hip hop.

    Another case in point, Afrikaans and Afrikaners. South Africa’s earliest mash-up, of Dutchmen, German, French, Malay, Sri-Lankans has in my mind produced some of SA deepest and most enduring culture.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the interesting response. What are your concerns about multiculturism?

  12. afrikola says:

    A pity,that in South Africas earliest mash up,the locals are left out !

  13. Kameraad Mhambi says:

    My concerns about concerns about multiculturism?

    Well its that cultures live past each other. And that it weakens a country, especially where these cultures are strong and large.

    Case in point, during the apartheid era, just look and how Afrikaans and English SA lived in separate worlds.

    Jannie Gagiano said of his research

    “If one looks at another factor which shapes and influences political views of the world one can look at the media, both the electronic media and the printed media. Again if you look at the figures it’s the same picture again. Afrikaners read Afrikaans newspapers. Almost, I can give you the figures, in the case of Afrikaans students, less than 13% or one is 13% read any English newspapers whatsoever. That’s an example. You must look at your watch and tell me if I am giving you stuff you are not interested in. In the case of the English speaker less than 10% read anything that was printed in Afrikaans.”

    This proves my point. It’s hard to build a National ethos with this kind of division.

  14. Kameraad Mhambi says:

    Afrikola, I agree

  15. Anonymous says:

    So are you saying diversity needs to be sacrificed for nationalism?

  16. Kameraad Mhambi says:

    This is a very complicated area with no easy answers, and I’ll rather write a blogpost about it (been planning to) than in a comment, but to summarise my feelings about this.

    The idea of a Republic, where everybody is a citizen, and where there is true fraternity, by implication militates against multi-culturalism. today France and Britain indeed has very different approaches to other cultures. The French want everybody to be French, speak French, The Brits, (until recently), did not care if you could not speak a word of English, and called yourself Pakistani. The Netherlands has also gone from the multicultural model to trying to enforce Dutchness. See this post http://mhambi.com/2010/01/help-i-became-white-braam-vermeulen-video/

    The problem with multiculturalism, especially in the case of a country like SA is that some cultures allow things which are off limits to others (which countries like Britain and the USA does not allow) – like the taking of many wives.

    If your citizens are judged by different laws based on their culture, what does this do to fraternity?

    Why is fraternity – or what I would call social capital – important, see this post of mine.
    http://mhambi.com/2009/12/democracy-ubuntu-social-capital/

    Lastly, having many languages in a country reduces economies of scale. South Africa’s press & TV is of dubious quality for example, and my contention is is because all the talent is spread so thin, over several language based outslets.

  17. Anonymous says:

    So would you say the group Die Antwoord give expression to the nationalism that we can expect in South Africa’s future?

  18. afrikola says:

    I meant more in your assertion.The horny Dutchman,was at it from day one and most of the first slaves were African as opposed to Asian.1654 A slaving voyage undertaken from the Cape via Mauritius to Madagascar.1658 Farms granted to Dutch free burghers (ex-Company soldiers). Secret journey into Dahomey (Benin) brings 228 slaves. Portugese slaver with 500 Angolan slaves captured by the Dutch; 174 landed at the Cape.”When Commissioner Hendrik van Reede visited the Cape in 1685 he noted that among the Company’s slaves there were no fewer than 57 children who obviously had white fathers. Van Reede decided that males could buy their freedom for 100 guilders on reaching the age of 25 years, provided that they had been confirmed in the Dutch Reformed Church and could speak Dutch. The same applied to women, but their age of freedom was 22 years. ”
    So when we talk about Afrikaans and Afrikaners,we should never forget the Afrikane in the equation.As much as ideology has tried to white wash our genes,the mash up lives on in all of us.As for the Republic,when you play football for your country,you as FRENCH as Sarkozy.When the foie gras hit the fan in the Banlieus,you are french of AFRICAN/MAGREBHI decent. So much so that even the meaning and understanding of the word, Banlieu, is changing with time.

  19. Kameraad Mhambi says:

    “Die Antwoord give expression to the nationalism that we can expect in South Africa’s future?”

    Ha ha, that would be cool, but I doubt it. 1) Die Antwoord has an association with Afrikaans, and Afrikaans has many enemies. On the other hand 2) Many Afrikaans speaking people are bekrompte and intellectually impoverished conservatives with very odd and self-defeating views on life, that they’ll struggle to recognize a diamond in their own midst.

    So sadly, thats unlikely. But hopefully it will lead to more coloureds and Afrikaners jolling and speaking to each other. And perhaps it will change perceptions of Afrikaans. And perhaps it will make colourdes more proud of Afrikaans, and defend it more at places like Stellenbosch, thats the most we can hope for.

  20. Kameraad Mhambi says:

    Afrikola, impressive comment and no doubt your right. But both the Afrikaners and many coloureds and the Afrikane themselves now live by very fixed identities, denying exactly what your saying happened.

  21. Anonymous says:

    So who get’s to decide the course for nation building?

    http://www.timeslive.co.za/local/article332784.ece

  22. [...] these definitions are fluid and shifting. there are no hard edges between black and white”( http://mhambi.com/2010/02/die-antwoord-is-it-blackface/). sigh that’s a nice thought, people are free to belong to any racial group they belong to [...]

  23. Wessel

    just on a point of linking: one click is better than two, and some readers click, others don’t. So, while you link to Africa is a Country, it is the original context of my comment that is important: to wit, a response to Poplak. Then, in terms of your post, which focusses on ‘blackface’, surely you should have included an extract from me where I actually use the word ‘blackface’. I mean, it’s the theme of your post and, for a reader, no click is better than one.

    No one is calling for you to commit harakiri. A bit of self-awareness, though, may lead to circumspection on your part in making big statements about something (as you confess) you’ve never even heard of.

    BLACKFACE & SOUTH AFRICA:

    1. Slave history is common to USA and South Africa, so there already is one reason one can draw lines of influence and analysis, despite differences.
    2. The Cape Town ‘Coon Carnival’ has its origins in American minstrelsy, which was the main forum of blackface. So blackface has a long history in SA, even if by inversion. (It’s covered in the Wikipedia article you quote)
    3. Pip Freedman doing “Philemon Umxaka”, “Happy Harry Singh”, “Gamat” (Springbok radio; last show in 1985 I think), and Leon Schuster are two examples of SA performers using blackface that readily springs to mind.

    In your insistence that the term ‘blackface’ cannot be imported to SA, you miss the last bit of what you quote from Wikipedia: “the term may be used in a broader sense to include similarly stereotyped performances even when they do not involve blackface makeup”. That is, the term becomes a broader term of analysis rather than applicable strictly to the US, and it is not a literal term. Furthermore, if you follow the Wikipedia article, the vaudeville and minstrel shows in which blackface originated also featured the mimicking of other ethnic stereotypes, some of them white. And, yes, even black people used blackface. (see also Spike Lee’s Bamboozled for an interesting take on black artists in [literal] blackface.)

    But the point of this historical blackfacing (whether now literally painting a face black or using mimicking stereotype) is that it happens in the context of a particular asymmetric power relationship: it is about ventriloquizing and representing someone else, for comic effect, when that person doesn’t normally have access to self-representation. It is about cultural exploitation by default because it happens by virtue of this absence of self-representation. Metropolitan artists using the stereotype of the redneck hick or the frontiersman or the black slave or sharecropper for laughs – and money.

    And asymmetric power relationships do not know race. That is why, in my original post, I also draw attention to the economic distance between Waddy Jones as artist and Ninja as white working class. Furthermore, and to repeat, my use of the term ‘blackface’ is not a term of dismissal of Die Antwoord – it is not a race card as has been insinuated. I state that blackface exists on “a continuum from satire to parody to mimicry to misdirected appropriation, but the points on the continuum are given valency by reception”. I.e., the audience adds meaning; I am one of that audience. I make a distinction between the ‘coloured’ gangster that Ninja parodies and the white working class character in Ninja that Waddy parodies. I also say this: “White or coloured, the working class are not exotic coons.” In other words, in my use of the term blackface, its literal racial meaning was never the point (nor was it a demand for authenticity); it is a figurative, analytical term about asymmetrical power relationships in the production of culture.

    Your focus on the comedic detail of blackface as another reason why it is an inadequate term also misses this broader meaning of blackface, and it misses the comedy in Die Antwoord.

    CULTURE, AGENCY, CRITICISM:

    Following on from your comments at La Mestiza (http://themestiza.wordpress.com/2010/03/18/my-two-cents-on-die-antwoord/#comment-28):

    I don’t get your understanding of the link between agency and victimhood, or victimhood as the inverse or absence of agency. Agency, as the word implies, is about the subject/person being able to be an agent in their own lives, and that would include representation: being an agent in how the world sees me. The ability to act in the world without anyone telling you how to act, or forcing you to act in a specific manner. It starts with literacy and education.

    A subject can be robbed of agency (again, not literally), or their agency ignored or misrecognised, for instance and among many other things, when someone else misrepresents them, or sees their acts and utterances as representative of a group mentality, or ‘speaks for’ them (a kind of blackface), e.g. “I think many coloureds, like many black South Africans are wedded to their victimhood”. [the to-and-fro of comments on blogs is another example of people being agents and insisting on accurate representation in others' retorts and summaries]

    This becomes especially problematic when the ventriloquist does not exhibit the knowledge required to realise how and why such a statement is paternalistic and politically problematic.

    In your comments here and at La Mestiza you bemoan the obstacles to racial toenadering. Andy Davis has also insinuated my ‘academic discourse’ as inhabiting an old-school, apartheid habit that will not celebrate new South Africa mash-ups. Both of you ignore the statement, highlighted by SD above, where I celebrate the mixing between white and coloured working class.

    More importantly, I have merely raised a few critical points about a cultural phenomenon, hardly a dismissal of Die Antwoord if you actually read my piece. I have written a piece of criticism – writing criticism, an act of agency – but the indignation and the triestige pity about obstacles to toenadering it has caused suggests that my critics do not like cultural interpretation that is counter to theirs, itself an apartheid habit. In other words, you bemoan a lost opportunity of toenadering, but refuse to entertain the thoughts of the very agent you insinuate as an obstacle to such toenadering. You bemoan the fact that black South Africans “are wedded to their victimhood”, yet seemingly struggle with the fact that some of them have critical voices.

    By this I don’t mean the fact of disagreement, but the nature of the disagreement: your implication that my criticisms belong to some form of group-think, be that “some (a minority) coloureds (mainly educated ones)”, “lefty discourse”, “people like Rustum Kozain”, and the insinuation of my use of ‘blackface’ as a race card. Effectively and ironically erasing my agency as an individual, in other words. (This is a point of analysis, not a personal statement of loss of agency, by the way).

    I don’t say you do this intentionally. It just seems that you are not aware of the irony between your unconcious and your intention, between paternalism and denying agency, on the one hand, even as, on the other, you express a wish for understanding. So think carefully when you express resignation about the things that prevent toenadering.

  24. SD

    Thanks for rescuing something of my point of view.

    “Do I have to be a gangster or originate from a black working class background in the States to be allowed to appreciate/love/embrace the Wu-Tang Clan, Ice T, NWA and Dead Prez?”

    Of course you don’t have to be a gangster to appreciate the stuff. And it’s not about who can and who cannot i.t.o. audience. I’m talking about the artist and a range of artistic directions that include parody.

    I don’t quite know about this authenticity business. Why do people zero in on that argument? I’ve used the word once in my original piece, to describe how Afrikaans is used by Brasse Vannie Kaap to “mark their authenticity”. As I’ve said at Africa is a Country: “For what it’s worth, my personal take on the issue of authenticity has always been: No one can demand that an artist cannot represent anyone else, irrespective of any kind of demographic difference and distance. It’s not even worth discussing. Every artist is free to create whatever character they want, and speak through that character, etc. etc. Artists do it all the time: men writing through female characters, people imagining themselves into all sorts of characters without any kind of connection. But the artistic product, once it is out there, should equally stand up to interrogations of authenticity. Is writer X’s female character believable or not, etc.? The product is out there, how does it measure up?”

    We make distinctions between authentic and fake constantly, even ‘gangsta’ rappers do it. And if I am raising questions about authenticity re Die Antwoord, it does not follow that I believe or trust ‘gangsta’ rap in the US as ‘authentic’ either. Most ‘gangsta’ rap in the US is in any case ‘inauthentic’ – Dela Soul’s song “Afro-connections at a Hi-5″ is a good parody of ‘gangsta’ rap – but this doesn’t mean the music as a genre is fake. Or, it doesn’t mean I think the music is fake or crap.

    About the tjappies: I never suggested he should tattoo all the numbers. That would be far worse than using one of them – there are boundaries between the numbers that demand respect in real life.

    My point about the tattoos is that, while it uses the iconography, it stops short of using an actual number. Why? Why does it not use one of the actual numbers? Would that not add to the authenticity? Any answers?

  25. Stupid says:

    This whole article and conversation is stupid.

  26. Patrick V B says:

    I am a 64 year old white exSouth African living in England (Unfortunately slowly loosing my battle with cancer). I have spent much of my life as a Body Modification artist specializing in Piercings and surgical mods. I am absolutely bowled over by your music, it puts the boot into ‘verkramp’ big style. Very long may it all last! ………. en waneer ek oorlede is, gaan julle musiek by my begrafenis gespeel word :-)

  27. Bridget Yorke says:

    Hi, I just discovered the group die antwword a couple of hours back and did a rapid bit of homework, Im currently more interested in the collapse of society that mass market music, but I feel led to give a comment here, a bit of background before my comment I am a white south african living in Paris since 32 years, ex model of the year in SA in 1980, and top model in Europe, worked for Helmut Newton american vogue Guy bourdin french vogue and so on, went on to become a well known fashion designer hanging with the jet set and underground artists at the same time, part of the spiral tribe roots tecno move in early 90 s and hung wif delinquent street kids fora bout 4 years to help them organise themselves into rap groups, as a teenager in south africa I would rip off the “gavie” type flip foster accent and I had it down as good as the white girl in die antwoord, I knew all about “poor whites” my mother would drag us through the slums to collect “afrikaner” wakists and other stinkwood or yellow wood items, like rusbanks and then have the riempies replaced with fresh cow hide and whatever to get to the point I just would like to say that “ninja’ as far as I can see from his earlier interviews is a rather pleasant sort of talented suburbian intellectual, and I found him very intellectually dishonest during an interview”gone wrong” on U Tube, he may have tons of talent which i do not deny, but when he does an interview he should refrain from insulting the journalist when the idea of conceptual art is brought up its just so fake, is he ashamed of his roots? ive seen a full circle now, white bourgeois south africain camouflaging his roots behind a flip foster persona for his dutch intervewee. He is unmistakably very slick, and lucky to have a wealth of poor white cultural material to dig into, the poor whites and the coloureds were first cousins during the apartheid era, i dont know much abot sa now I havent been back in 32 years, but I find personally that the inbred mentality of the poor whites aka the “Flip Foster”, was quite unhealthy, they were rascist religous zealots with no root culture at all, not like the genuine afrikaner that had retained some cultural integrity, whereas the coloured community had something fresh, their tragedy was poetic and kept them pure through their suffering, die antwword is tapping deep into a white trash persona, incorporating commercial lady gaga type satanic symbolisme and hard core sex as an appat for the already mind controlled masses who are just ripe and ready to gob it up, “ninja” now seems like an overgrown kid with a white suburbia chip on his shoulder a wanabee, who is intelligent enough to know how to protect his intellectual patrimony from big record groups, but the inbred incestual pedophilic tones combined with filth, sex and hard core trash are a surefire combo for success, espêcually when combined with a savant understanding of our rabid youths desperate longings for more. Art?