Koos Kombuis - Madiba Bay

Madiba Bay

1997, Wildebeest, WILD004

Koos Kombuis


  1. Rock & Roll Road
  2. Madiba Bay
  3. Hartseerland
  4. Who Killed Kurt Cobain
  5. Winterkind
  6. Sweet Freedom
  7. Atlantis in Jou Lyf
  8. Pockets of my Jeans
  9. Mona Lisa
  10. Huisie by die See
  11. Live Beyond the Law
  12. Voortrekker Road
  13. Duco Box Rasta

    Hidden bonus track:
    "Harry, are you there?"


  • Koos Kombuis: vocals, guitar
  • Anton L'amour: guitar
  • Valiant Swart: guitar, harmonica
  • Doris Delay: bass
  • Wikus Lombard: drums
  • Brenda Pieterse: vocals
  • Liela Groenewald: vocals
  • Chris Vermaak: vocals, guitar
  • Koos Slaptjip: sax


Koos Kombuis was one of the voortrekkers of Afrikaans music, boldly going where no Afrikaans troubadour had gone before. Ja, he was the oom who helped Afrikaners get in touch with their plesierig side, singing Afrikaans lyrics to great rock and folk rock tunes. Okay cool, so now charf me how come are nearly half the songs on 'Madiba Bay' in English. Isn't he sending out some confusing messages here, (or should that be gemors code)?

No, once you have discovered something, you can't discover it again, you have to move on, and this was what he did. The language he chose to sing in, although important, took more of a back seat to the message in the music.

On 'Madiba Bay' he focuses on the emerging New South Africa, embracing it with warmth and joy as well as sheer relief that the past was now the past. Virtually every song has some reference to the negative past, or a positive outlook for the future or both. Lines like 'The pain is all gone, wake up to the sunlight, wake up to the dawn' from the title track and 'We were victims of the struggle and victims of apartheid, but we've got to reach the sun before it's too late' from 'Duco Box Rasta' are prime examples of this. Even the sing-a-long 'Huisie by die See' contains the line 'almal hoop die struggle is verby'.

A deviation from the New South Africa theme comes in the form of the tribute to the ex-Nirvana singer, 'Who Killed Kurt Cobain', described by some as the greatest song that the world has never heard. With its grungy tune and biting lyrics, this is a classic tune that features some excellent guitar work from Anton L'Amour.

Despite admitting that he 'can't play a damn note, and I'm not sure how to sing' (on the title track), Koos manages to play a variety of styles from folk rock, through reggae rock to the delicately beautiful love song 'Atlantis in Jou Lyf'. He even distorts his vocal chords for a fine Tom Waits-y blues soaked 'Voortrekker Road'. So Koos, it's not as bad as you think, although rhyming Mona Lisa with pizza (my favourite rhyming couplet on the album) might be pushing things a bit.

Like the picture of bright sunshine lighting up Table Mountain on the cover of the album, the music is generally bright, upbeat and optimistic. To paraphrase one of the great Afrikaans poets 'Almal wil di CD in hul huisie h.'

John Samson, London, UK, March 2002