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Sunday, November 6, 2011


To celebrate decades of passionate involvement in Afrikaans music, the 40-year journey of acclaimed singer-songwriter, Jannie du Toit, is being told in a coffee-table book, a DVD and two CDs.

Onderweg (loosely translated as On The Road) has come about with sponsorship by Rapport and SUN MeDIA, and a stage show with text by storyteller extraordinaire PG du Plessis to launch the project. The production is directed by Emma Bekker and tours the country until December. The debut took place in Johannesburg and was followed by successful performances in Windhoek, Cape Town, Pretoria and at Aardklop Arts Festival in Potchefstroom.

Jannie, on vocals and guitar, is accompanied by pianist Clinton Zerf and either of two top local cellists, Susan Mouton and Arend Brink. The repertoire contains a wealth of Afrikaans songs from Jannie’s pen, but also representing the best of international cabaret such as Jacques Brel, Bertolt Brecht and Koos du Plessis. Says Diane de Beer of the Pretoria News: “The compilation...indicates the entertainer’s preference for songs that not only sweep you off your feet musically, but stick in the mind because of the thoughtful lyrics...His unique selection should indicate exactly what kind of performer he is”

Onderweg is a coffee table book with a difference. Since his childhood, the kid from the countryside has nurtured a passion for Afrikaans music which, in 40 years, has taken him to 25 countries across the globe. Jannie has experienced the exciting journey of an outsider, starting when Afrikaans music was no factor at all, to where it now stands as a significant force on the local music scene.

His experience is portrayed in a publication rich in anecdotes, photographs, newspaper clippings and letters. From the cover illustration by a friend of many years, internationally renowned artist Piet Grobler who now works and lives in Britain, to the hundreds of pictures and clippings, this delightful visual experience is complemented and contextualized by a double CD with 40 tracks and a DVD with some 25 visual clips – memories from early recordings of Trilogie, Jannie’s folk-rock outfit in the 70’s, to his rendition of a song from a Jacques Brel-show with Laurika Rauch last year. Amongst the multitude of superbly interesting sound and video recordings, a dozen have emanated from recent stage shows and other projects. Recognition came in many forms from artistic and cultural circles through the years, the most prestigious probably being the Science and Arts Academy (Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns) that has awarded him a medal of honour in 2008 citing his remarkable contribution to Afrikaans music.

Onderweg proves that Jannie du Toit has not only been influential over four decades, but also that his work is as relevant as ever. His show takes place on November 26 at 19h00 at Port Natal School. Booking through Computicket

More information from Roberto Cameron on 082 783 6024, fax 086 615 0468, email: or visit