Lesego Rampolokeng

The album led to us being invited to a festival of poetry and music in Belo Horizonte in Brasil during the early ’90s. It was the dawn of the new South Africa and the two of us had diametrically opposite views on the Rainbow Nation which dumbfounded Brazilian journalists. I was of the opinion that Hunt Lascaris had done well in selling the idea of a New SA to the people and that the flag and reconciliation was a good thing.

Lesego had many reservations about the ruling elite and their motives and took a dim view of it all. I think he’d have preferred a bloody coup in which the old guard was dragged from their posts screaming as they were nailed to their own antennae. Once when I was visiting Lesego in Diepkloof, I bumped into his stepfather who was emerging from a marijuana smoked car interior. He told me that he had put “this man” through university by selling dagga, only to have him become a poet. Where was the payoff, he asked? Of what use is a poet, he wanted to know. One only needed to look at the youths in that area and see the awe with which they viewed Lesego to realize how important the culture of the intellect is, and how important that there are some among us who have turned their backs on financial gain for their principles. Intellectual property over self-enrichment.

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