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David Kramer tells the heartwarming tale behind his famous rooi vellies

2016-07-25 12:39
David Kramer. (Gallo Images)

Cape Town – David Kramer has been one of the biggest features in South African entertainment for decades. 

The famous composer writes musicals that chronicle South African life through the lens of race, class and other socio-economic factors. Some of his biggest theatre smashes include: District Six (1986), Fairyland (1991) and Kat and the Kings (1995). 

The prolific artist, who is usually very private about his personal life, opened up on Monday with a post on his Facebook page giving the backstory behind his famous red shoes. 

The post, titled Rooi Velskoene, talks about a man named Boet van der Hoven, who gave the unique footwear to Kramer as a present. 

Here’s the full post: 

"Rooi Velskoene
To this day people remember me for my red velskoene. If I'm out and about and not wearing them, I get stopped and asked why I am not wearing them. They have been my trademark for the past 33 years.
Let me tell you how that came about. In 1974, when I returned to Worcester having graduated from Leeds University, I met Boet van der Hoven who was teaching art at the Hugo Naude Art Centre where I was once a pupil. We became friends and a few years later, in the early 80s, while enjoying my early success with my songs I did a concert in Oudtshoorn where Boet and his wife Sarah were now living. Boet had found a pair of "rooi velskoene" with motor car tyre soles in the local trading store and bought them for me as a present. I was delighted and wrote him a thank you note that included this little verse:
"Tjikkeling, tjikkeling, tjikkely
Een vir 'n geel pampoen
Twee vir 'n rooi velskoen
Hoe lekker kry ek nou"
This later became the chorus of one of my big hits: Stanley en die Koei which was based on Abraham de Vries's story: Die koei en die tand.
Boet died in 2003, but when I put on my velskoene, I think of him. Dankie Boet."

See David kramer's rooi vellies here:

What a wonderful story. RIP Boet. 


-The Juice