Bok van Blerk

Bok van Blerk (born Louis Andreas Pepler; 30 March 1978) is a South African musician who sings in Afrikaans. He became famous in 2006 for his rendition of "De la Rey" by Sean Else and Johan Vorster.[1]

Bok van Blerk
Birth nameLouis Andreas Pepler
Born (1978-03-30) 30 March 1978 (age 43)
Pretoria, South Africa
OriginPretoria, South Africa
GenresPop rock
Years active2005–present
LabelsMozi-rekords; Coleske Artists
Websitewww.bokvanblerk.co.za

The Department of Arts and Culture denounced "De la Rey", as it could be inspiration for violent right-wing Afrikaner groups.[2]

Early life and careerEdit

Van Blerk went to school at Hoërskool Die Wilgers in Pretoria.[3] After his study, he spent time working abroad.[1]

In March 2006, Bok van Blerk and the Mossies released the album Jy praat nog steeds my taal (You still speak my language). The same album was rereleased in October 2006 under the name De La Rey and solely credited to Bok van Blerk. According to Van Blerk "and the Mossies" was removed because his fellow singer, Tanya van Graan, was too busy modelling. Van Blerk is accompanied by Jaco Mans (and occasionally Manie van Niekerk) on lead guitar, Francois Coetzee on bass guitar, and Nathan Smit on the drums.[1]

"De la Rey" controversyEdit

 
Transvaal vierkleur flag with patriotic inscription

On 6 February 2007, the South African Department of Arts and Culture issued a statement regarding the song "De la Rey" (which is a tribute to Koos de la Rey) regarding the controversy that arose due to the popularity of the song with some Afrikaners, who interpret the lyrics as a call to armed battle.[4][5] At some of his concerts some audience members have flown the old South African flag and the Transvaal Vierkleur. The Orange Free State flag is shown in the song's music video as part of the period scene depicted in the song and video. An article in Huisgenoot magazine challenged Minister Pallo Jordan to comment on the song and the message it is said to contain. In the statement the Department deplored the possibility that the song could be hijacked by right-wing circles, but wished the singer good luck. The Minister also stated that he has no problem with protests or mobilisation from the opposition, as long as they occur within the framework of the law.[6][3]

Van Blerk himself says that he does not identify himself with the old South African flag, nor does he want to be associated with it. But he does promote Afrikaans and has refused to participate in the concert organised by the 94.7 Highveld Stereo radio station because of their policy not to play Afrikaans music.[7]

He also makes it clear that he does not side with the Boeremag, that he does not believe violence to be a solution to problems and that General De la Rey was pro-peace.[3] Koos Kombuis also points out that Van Blerk's rugby-song is about a coloured rugby player, Bryan Habana.[8]

For the sake of his own survival, Bok was forced to print a disclaimer on the sleeve of his second album, Afrikanerhart; "Afrikanerhart is not a song that calls for any form of revolution or uprising. The song comes from the musical 'Ons vir Jou', and all that we want to say is that the Afrikaner also shed blood while building South Africa. If we respect all cultures and their history, we can together all make this country stronger". (Translated from the original Afrikaans)

DiscographyEdit

Title and details Notes Peak chart
positions
SA
De La Rey[1]
  • Type: Album
  • Production: Mozi Records
  • Distribution: Select Music
  • Released: 2005
No.TitleLength
1."De la Rey" 
2."Praat nog steeds my taal" 
3."Vodka en OJ" 
4."Hatfield Jol" 
5."Die Bok kan blêr" 
6."Lenteblomme" 
7."So waai die wind" 
8."Stuk van jou" 
9."Op Walvisbaai" 
10."'68 Chevy" 
11."Katie" 
12."Girls in bikinis" 
13."Habana!" 
-
Afrikanerhart
  • Type: Album
  • Distribution: Select Music
  • Released: 2009
No.TitleLength
1."Tyd Om Te Trek" 
2."Afrikanerhart" 
3."Super Schalk" 
4."Brandewyn Het Nie Brieke Nie" 
5."Jou Pa Is Hier" 
6."Klaar Met My" 
7."Die Kaplyn" 
8."My Angel" 
9."Die Kleur Van My Vel" 
10."Seilvisskoffel" 
11."Boeregirl" 
12."Miss U.S.A" 
13."Nooit Weer Gesien Nie" 
14."Sink of Swem" 
15."Pa en Seun" 
1[9]
My Kreet
  • Type: Album
  • Distribution: Select Music
  • Released: 2010
No.TitleLength
1."My Kreet" 
2."Die ou klipkerk gebou" 
3."'n Goeie man" 
4."BMX en bende" 
5."Tannie Tina van Wyk" 
6."Konyne" 
7."Anderkant die treinspoor" 
8."Bloubul shebeen" 
9."Die bokke skiet terug" 
10."Diknek en klein tandjies" 
11."Honnelos" 
12."Platteland" 
-
Steek Die Vure Aan
  • Type: Album
  • Distribution: Select Music
  • Released: 2013
No.TitleLength
1."Land Van Melk En Heuning" 
2."Koue Voete En Warm Liefde" 
3."Die Groot Trek Weer Kaap Toe" 
4."Steek Die Vure Aan" 
5."Ons Kyk Na Ons Mense" 
6."'Van Hings'" 
7."Daai Klein-Dorpie Gevoel" 
8."Tref En Trap" 
9."Gebore Om Vry Te Wees" 
10."Ek En My Vlerk" 
11."Vroumens" 
12."Huil Soos 'n Man" 
13."Bakbeen Anties" 
14."Bloubul Snor" 
7[10]
Sing Afrikaner Sing
  • Type: Album
  • Distribution: Select Music
  • Released: 2015
No.TitleLength
1."Sing Afrikaner Sing" 
2."Bosveld Afrika" 
3."Hou Jou Voete Op Die Grond" 
4."Aan Jou Lippe" 
5."Spooloos" 
6."Al Die Dubbles" 
7."Bok Vir Sports" 
8."Die Beste Dag Van My Lewe" 
9."Soos In Die Ou Dae" 
10."Voor Ek My Kop Neerlê" 
11."Skoenmaker" 
12."Ek Het - Duet Met Laurika Rauch" 
13."Soutwater" 
4[11]
Van De La Rey Tot Nou
  • Type: Album
  • Distribution: Select Music
  • Released: 2016
15[12]
Hoor Ons!
  • Type: Album
  • Distribution: Select Music
  • Released: 2019
1[13]

FilmographyEdit

  • Platteland (2011)
  • As jy sing (2013)
  • Vrou Soek Boer (2014)
  • Leading Lady (2014)
  • Blood & Glory (Modder en Bloed, 2018)

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c Tanya de Vente (Vrouekeur) "Bok van Blerk, 'n bok vir sports Archived 29 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine, accessed 23 February 2007
  2. ^ "Offensive lyrics incite racism, says FF+ | IOL News". Retrieved 4 July 2018.
  3. ^ a b c Rapport, Hanlie Retief gesels met Bok van Blerk Archived 19 May 2007 at the Wayback Machine, accessed 23 February 2005
  4. ^ Song Wakens Injured Pride of Afrikaners, Michael Wines, The New York Times, 27 February 2007
  5. ^ Afrikaans singer stirs up controversy with war song by Chris McGreal in Johannesburg, The Guardian, 26 February 2007
  6. ^ DKK, Ministry of Arts & Culture on Bok Van Blerks’s Supposed Afrikaans “Struggle Song,” De La Rey and Its Coded Message to Fermenting Revolutionary Sentiments. Archived 2012-02-20 at the Wayback Machine, accessed 23 February 2007
  7. ^ Die BurgerBok sê aikôna vir ou landsvlag én 94.7, accessed 23 February 2007
  8. ^ Litnet Bok van Blerk en die bagasie van veertig jaar Archived 27 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine, accessed 23 February 2007
  9. ^ "SA Top 20". SABC. Archived from the original on 2009. Retrieved 25 October 2019.
  10. ^ "SA Top 20" (in Afrikaans). Recording Industry of South Africa. Archived from the original on 2014. Retrieved October 25, 2019.
  11. ^ "SA Top 20" (in Afrikaans). Recording Industry of South Africa. Archived from the original on 2000. Retrieved October 25, 2019.
  12. ^ "SA Top 20". SABC. Archived from the original on 2017. Retrieved 25 October 2019.
  13. ^ "SA Top 20". SABC. Archived from the original on 2019. Retrieved 25 October 2019.

External linksEdit