Oppikoppi Heavyweights pack the punches

2016-07-15 07:36

Cape Town - Over the years the Oppikoppi Boxing Association (yes, it is an actual association, we think) has launched many ships (and other air borne beer delivering vessels), but one of the most lingering projects is the annual tribute to a South African artist which was launched in 2010. 

As the festival was super supportive of the South African music landscape from its inception in 1994 the decision to pay homage to South African musical stalwarts on an annual basis more or less took itself. It just felt natural. Also it was a nice way for a very specific sometimes niche-ified part of the SA landscape to be able to pay homage to artists who made a big impact for many years.

And so, the annual OppiKoppi Tribute Artist Award was born, with a reasonably swanky heavyweight championship belt as a visible trophy. 

Just a nice not-very-solemn moment in time for roughly 20 000 fans and thousands of online hooligans to say “Well played sir” (and in time of course well played madam). And so forth. 

This will be the 7th year of the tribute set.

Here are the previous heavyweight champions:

2015 - Johnny Clegg

2014 - Ollie Viljoen* and Hugh Masekela

2013 - Koos Kombuis

2012 - Vusi Mahlasela

2011 - David Kramer

2010 - Valiant Swart

*Ollie Viljoen has since passed away at the end of August 2014.

Oppikoppi 22 (For The Lovely Young Taken to THE UNSEA) will see yet another heavyweight, Grand Master DJ Ready D, lifting the belt victoriously. If there is one thing you should really not miss out on this year at Koppi, it is this spectacular ceremony.

Here are quick Q&A’s with three previous winners:

Koos Kombuis

Describe what happened at that moment on stage when you received the belt. Who presented you with the belt? What was going through your mind?

I was totally surprised when they presented me with that wonderful belt. We had just done our last Oppikoppi set of all time, it was a very emotional moment. I was also quite exhausted and the next moment Carel Hoffmann was standing there next to me and showing me this incredible thing that said "Koos Kombuis Wêreldkampion". It was very authentic! There was even a spelling mistake on it! The moment he started putting it around my body, though, I panicked that I was too fat and that it would not go around all the way. But he just made it! At that moment I was very glad that I had been following the Mediterranean diet for some years and had lost 16 kg's since my previous Oppikoppi performance!

What does this award mean to you?

I never receive any awards for anything. I'm not the award kind of guy. The people who get awards are these really safe middle-of-the-road academics like that Gilliomee toppie who got half a million rand for doing absolutely nothing worthwhile ever! That is why this Wêreldkampion belt is so fucking special for me. It reminds me of all those years when Oppikoppi was my spiritual home, my family, and my favourite destination.

Where is your belt now? Do you sometimes wear it?

No, I don't actually wear it, it's a bit heavy. I keep it in special places in my house and I regularly move it around to other honourary spots. Right now it is on top of my book case where I keep my favourite science fiction paperbacks! 

Here is a really serious-looking selfie I took of myself next to it (getting an award from a prestigious plek like Oppikoppi is a very serious thing after all and the only real highlight of my career).

Valiant Swart

Describe how you felt at that moment on stage when you received the belt? 

I was stunned. I kind of expected a case of beer or a bottle of tequila or something and the next thing Carel Hoffmann presents me with this beautiful, glimmering champion's belt. Such a unique, original gift. The tequila did get a fair innings later in the day, I have to add. There was something to celebrate!

What does this award mean to you?

It's always flattering to get recognition for what you do. If it comes from the headquarters, the Ground Zero or rock 'n roll in your country - well, that just means so much more. It certainly inspires me to carry on working my mojo.

What did you do with the award? Is it in a special display area? Do you sometimes take a jog through the neighbourhood in a hoody and practice some shadow boxing?

Immediately after the ceremony, Boors Bornmann, the owner of the OppiKoppi farm, asked me where the hell I was going to display the belt in my house. 'Above my bed,' I replied. That's how proud it made me feel and still does. By the way - it doesn't actually feature in my bedroom, but in my man cave, among all the truly special objects I've accumulated. And no, I haven't worn it in public. Yet…

David Kramer

Describe what happened at that moment on stage when you received the belt? Who presented you with the belt? Do you remember what was going through your mind? 

I’d be surprised if anyone at Oppikoppi remembers anything. It was mad; it was loud; it was a blur, it may have been Rob van Vuuren who gave it to me. I was thinking that when they give you an award like this it means you are an Ou Toppie - oor die koppie.  You won't be playing here again!

What does this award mean to you?

Oh I’m flattered. The award is silly, kitsch and very tongue-in cheek. So I’m honoured.

Do you sometimes secretly wear this belt around the house?

The belt is big and very heavy; not something that keeps my pants up. If I was a scuba diver, it would be useful. This is one of the zaniest awards I’ve received!

(Photo: Supplied)

Enter and win!

How to enter?

If you want to stand a chance of winning a set of double tickets to Oppikoppi answer the question below:

Question: What is the name of year’s Oppikoppi festival?

Send your answer in an e-mail with the subject line OPPIKOPPI to Channel24 to music@channel24.co.za and include the following information:


Name and Surname:


Phone number:

Please note:

This competition is open to all South African residents or South African citizens. The competition closes on Friday, 22 July at 12:00. The prize does not include travel or accommodation. The judges’ decision is final, and no correspondence will be entered into. Winners will be notified via e-mail. The promoters reserve the right to amend the terms and conditions as well as terminate the competition at any time. In the event of such termination, all entrants agree to waive any rights that they may have in terms of the competition and acknowledge that they have no recourse against Channel24, its advertising agencies, advisors, suppliers and nominated agents.  If you have won a 24.com competition within the last 30 calendar days, you may not participate in this competition.

Read more on:    oppikoppi 2016  |  music  |  local music

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