Keeping Afrikaaps alive

Cape Flats hip hop artist and cultural activist Emile Jansen, better known as Emile YX?, with director of the Centre for Film and Media Studies at UCT Professor Adam Haupt, of Rondebosch, left, and director of the Centre for Multilingualism and Diversities Research at UWC Professor Quentin Williams, of Bishop Lavis.

Celebrating his 55th birthday, Cape Flats hip hop artist, Emile Jansen, better known as Emile YX?, promoted his Heal the Hood Project series of books at the Book Lounge on Wednesday July 19.

The whole series of 17 children’s books was written by Mr Jansen over the course of several years and is available for sale at the Book Lounge, including his latest, A Colouredful Life, a memoir of his childhood in Grassy Park.

Also available is Neva Again: Hip Hop Art, Activism and Education in Post-Apartheid South Africa. This 560-page book, published by HSRC Press and launched in April 2019, is the culmination of decades of work by Adam Haupt, Quentin Williams, H Samy Alim and Emile Jansen. It is about the emergence and development of a unique style of hip-hop activism in the Western and Eastern Cape.

Also known for Black Noise, a pioneering rap group, the cultural activist, who now calls Atlanta in America home, founded the Heal the Hood Project in 1998 to foster interaction between various communities and keep the Afrikaaps language and its stories alive.

This year, the hip hop culture celebrates its 50th anniversary. From concerts and tours to competitions and exhibitions, well-known DJs, MCs, breakdancers, beatboxers and graffiti artists will hold events around the world.

Buying books, from left, Ruth Bowles, of Plumstead; and Estelle Meadows and Charlene Little, both from Thornton.
Janine van Rooy, also known as Blaq Pearl, from Mitchell’s Plain, with Ghadija Vallie, of Cape Town CBD.
Shane Overmeyer, of Beacon Valley, left, with DJ Eazy, of Lansdowne.
Chanté Matthews and Ras Hein Scheepers, both from District Six, with DJ Ready D, from Rondebosch.
Shayni Geffen and Amish Patel, both from Kenilworth.