The now legendary American folk singer Sixto (Seezto) Diaz Rodriques was honoured at a wonderful, vibey and nostalgic event on the banks of the Izotsha river on Sunday.
Musicians Barry Thomson and the Reals, who are Rodriques specialists, entertained more than three hundred people with most of the 71-year-old singer’s greatest songs, including Sugarman. Rodriques, the sixth child of a Mexican immigrant and his native American wife, shot to worldwide fame over the past two years as the result of an Oscar and Bafta award winning film made about two South African fans who went searching for ‘the Sugarman’, the musician who played such a big role in their earlier lives in South Africa in the seventies. They had heard unconfirmed reports that he had died.
In the early days hardly anybody in Detroit, his home town, or the USA for that matter, knew anything about the artist, and he was constantly struggling with poverty, performing manual labour to survive. However, in South Africa his music was extremely popular, also as an anti-apartheid symbol. It has been reliably learnt that Steve Biko was one of his greatest fans. Following on the success of the film, and his newly found fame, new CD’s of his old and 30 new songs he has written during the later years, have been produced. He has also been awarded an honorary doctorate from Wayne State University in Detroit.
On Sunday Meg Fourie and Jean Osborne hosted an event where many of his old fans and new ones gathered on the banks of the river and celebrated a humble man that has now become a true legend. Lencel’s roving camera brings you the sights and sounds of the river event, and we asked Meg Fourie, whose brainchild the event was, a few questions…..