Reisiger: The Song That Tackles Gender-Based Violence in South Africa
Reisiger is a song by Refentse, a South African singer and songwriter who rose to fame after a video of him singing an Afrikaans song went viral on social media. Reisiger, which means “traveler” in Afrikaans, is a comment on the gender-based violence that plagues South Africa, where one woman is killed every three hours by a partner or relative.
The song begins with a spoken word intro, where Refentse says he is sitting on a heaven and thinking about the Heavens, and realizes that humans have no clue about life. He says that everything is everything, and nothing is nothing, and nothing is looking for everything, and everything is traveling to nothing. He then describes a woman who was a true illustration of God’s beauty, but many men tried to bring her down, while few tried to lift her up. He wonders where God is in this situation.
The chorus expresses his longing for a better world, where he can dance in the rain and sing of the earth, where his father will remember him differently, and where he will find his place. He says he loves whoever she is, and whatever she does, because she hears him. He also says that his forest is on fire, and God is sending him to a strange place.
The song was released in 2018 as part of Refentse’s album My Hart Klop Afrikaans (My Heart Beats Afrikaans). It has over 3 million views on YouTube and has received positive reviews from critics and fans. Refentse has been praised for his unique voice, his fusion of Afrikaans and English lyrics, and his social commentary on the issues facing his country.
Refentse was born on 1 August 1997 in Vereeniging, Gauteng, South Africa. He learned Afrikaans at school and fell in love with the language and its music. He said he listened to Afrikaans music to learn more about the language. He also enjoys kwaito and Zulu gospel music, which he would like to incorporate with Afrikaans music on his second album. His aim is to bring the diverse South African cultures together through the power of music.
Refentse’s musical talent was discovered by Karen Zoid, a famous South African artist, who invited him to perform with her at the Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees in 2015. She also helped him with the recording of his debut album, My Hart Bly in `n Taal (My Heart Stays in a Language), which was released in 2016 and featured his versions of popular and classic Afrikaans hits. The album did well in sales on the iTunes music chart and won him several Ghoema awards, which are like the Afrikaans Grammys.
Refentse’s second album, Liefdegenerasie (Love Generation), was released in 2018 and featured more original songs and collaborations with other artists. The album also included Reisiger, his song about gender-based violence in South Africa. Refentse said he wrote the song after hearing about the brutal murder of a young woman by her boyfriend. He said he wanted to raise awareness and empathy for the victims of such violence.
Refentse has become a household name in the Afrikaans community and beyond, with over 3 million views on YouTube and thousands of fans on social media. He has performed at various festivals and events across the country, such as Aardklop, Innibos, KKNK, Skouspel and Oppikoppi. He has also shared the stage with some of the biggest names in South African music, such as Ricus Nel, Adam Tas, Bok van Blerk and Steve Hofmeyr. He describes himself as “Refentse, jou vriendelike swart Afrikaner” (Refentse, your friendly black Afrikaner) and says he hopes his music can heal the wounds of the past and unite the nation .