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» GUEST RUNDOWNS » REGGAE SOUTH AFRICA: BLACK DILLINGER A BIG NAME IN EUROPE, BUT NOT AT HOME!

REGGAE SOUTH AFRICA: BLACK DILLINGER A BIG NAME IN EUROPE, BUT NOT AT HOME!

By EDWARD TSUMELE

Local boy Dillinger, an internationally renowned reggae artist, is sad that South Africans don’t know him

INTERNATIONALLY-renowned South African reggae artist Black Dillinger will “within days” fly back to Europe to tour for three months.

If you don’ t know who this reggae artist is, you are not the only one. We South Africans are ignorant about this talented musician who emerged from the dusty streets of Gugulethu, Cape Town, in 2004.

Abroad, however, people are dancing to his tight reggae beats.

During his recent trip home, he had something special for South African fans.

“I killed it. And the turnout from local fans was absolutely great,” he says.

Dillinger is probably the country’s most prominent reggae export currently, after the late great Lucky Dube.

He has released three albums: Live and Learn in 2007, Love Life in 2009, and Better Tomorrow in 2011.

I was unfortunately not there when he performed at Johannesburg’s reggae hot spot, House of Tandoor, Yeoville on Saturday .

It was a rare occasion when the globe-trotting artist performed in South Africa.

The reality of what actually happened that night at House of Tandoor will, I am sure, be captured on the walls of the establishment forever.

What is beyond doubt, though, is his increasing musical influence in general and the reggae genre in particular around the world, especially in Berlin, Germany, where he is based.

This is very good news for the country of his birth, that he is carrying South Africa’s flag in some of the major capitals of the world.

But it is also sad though that the Gugulethu-born reggae artist, who was christened Nkululeko Madolo, is hardly recognised at home beyond particular reggae circles and those fortunate individuals who are well informed about the reggae sounds of the world.

Dillinger is very aware and naturally disappointed that reggae in South Africa does not get the exposure that it deserves in the local media.

He says: “Reggae music lacks mainstream media exposure in South Africa. It unfortunately does not get the attention that it deserves from recording companies, radio as well as television.

“The only platforms that are receptive are some radio stations and Soweto TV.

“For example, I took my DVD, which was shot by some German guys using the latest technology in video production, to local radio and television stations. This video is played frequently on television stations in Europe, but it was rejected last year by the producers of Live (an SABC1 music show).

“They said that it was not suitable for their viewers. I really have no idea what they meant by that,” Dillinger says.

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