Music Video: https://youtu.be/5skAPVBJ11w

Nighttime Hillbrow — Credit Unsplash

The old man squatting at the street cafés,

Triggers rage at the Wimpy Bar,

Fontana admissible until late at night

Shoeless children in the street, show parking

Hold your hand, hold your hand.

Keep your hand open, yes

Give, give, give. Give, give, give

Your cents, your dreams, your clothes full of holes,

Give your heart to Hillbrow

Yes, give your heart to Hillbrow

In Quartz Street a girl calls me,

Hair Krishna praying something I’m looking for

Do I know Jesus? Invite man on the veranda,

Between Hillbrow Recordings and Estoril Books

It’s a long afternoon and the Hillbrow tower

signals at night, the signal at night,

It’s signalling for the druggies waiting, O.’

Give, give, give. Give, give, give

Your cents, your dreams, your destiny full of holes,

Give your heart to Hillbrow,

Yes, give your heart to Hillbrow

The lights go on at the Chelsea Hotel,

Voices and music sound in all the apartments.

Rest in the sun, drink wine,

Persevere with diabolical torture in the land, surely

Let’s drink on the one who endures his dreams,

The one who receives what he needs, yes

Give, give, give. Give, give, give

Your cents your thoughts, foreseen full of holes,

Yes, give your heart to Hillbrow,

Come on, give your heart to Hillbrow

Author: Johannes Kerkorrel

Translated from Afrikaans; Mattheus Frederik

Rabie was born in Johannesburg and was a journalist at the Afrikaans weekly, Rapport. In 1986, he started singing songs with a political theme during art festivals (under the stage name Kerkorrel). Some of these songs were against the then government, and in particular, against state president P.W. Botha aims. Rapport was dismissed in 1987 for using quotes from Botha’s speeches in his music.

After his dismissal, Rabie becomes a full-time musician under the stage name Johannes Kerkorrel and the Reformed Blues Band. Their music is described as Alternative Afrikaans.

In 1989, they released the album, Eet kreef, The album was a commercial success, even though the South African Broadcasting Corporation refused to broadcast the tracks. Their subsequent tour was called Voëlvry, which gave rise to the so-called Voëlvry movement.

Rabie visited Amsterdam in 1990. Almost at the same time, the Hillbrow track from his Eet lobster album becomes a hit in Belgium, after which Rabie succeeds in following a solo tour. In 1991, he enjoyed considerable success in Belgium and the Netherlands. Here he is befriended with Dutch singer Stef Bos, with whom he performed several concerts together.

On November 12, 2002, Rabie hung himself in Kleinmond, near Hermanus on the Western Cape coast. He was survived by his partner, his divorced wife, and a boy.

Experience in Explosives, Fertilizers, Heavy Chemicals and Author. Love People, High Tech, Space and Afrikaans/English Translator.