He is so immersed in and associated with music it is impossible to imagine Coenie de Villiers has another life. And yet he does. It is mystifying. That other life, running parallel to music, is in the corporate world. It is impossible to believe, but there it is.
Coenie is delicately woven into the fabric of Afrikaans culture and music; a glimmering mantle surrounds him where every thread tells its own story. His own genre takes in rap, mixes it with opera, jazz with ballad, rock with classical. Much is heart-searing music that leaves you breathless, aching.
He is in love with his country, its people, he feels its pain strongly, and is able to share and bring understanding where others suffer only its burden. Listen on YouTube to Desert Conversations, Miskien, Pie Jesu, and weep with him. Listen to Karoonag and smell the dust of the earth with him. His Weerlig oor die See is considered one of the best Afrikaans albums ever.
He paints with words and brings them alive with music. He makes us join hands with all our diverse peoples to hear their stories. Collaborating with Sibongile Kumalo, Hugh Masakela, David Kramer, YOMA, Rina Hugo, Basil Mannenberg. With music, he brings new life to Hennie Aucamp’s poetry.
What he has achieved is extraordinary. Listen to him speak and it will leave you breathless.