Gert Vlok Nel
Gert Vlok Nel was born in 1963 in Calvinia. He and his seven siblings grew up in Beaufort West. After his military service he enrolled for a BA degree at Stellenbosch, but didn't complete it. Then he was a railway clerk in Bellville, a tour guide at the Castle in Cape Town and a security guard at the University of Stellenbosch. In 1993 he made his debut with the volume of poetry om te lewe is onnatuurlik. It received the Ingrid Jonker Prize in 1995.
In 1997 he became further known for his show Om Beaufort-Wes se beautiful woorde te verlaat at the KKNK. The festival paper, Krit, named it as one of the best shows at the festival. In 1999 a songbook, Om Beaufort-Wes se beautiful woorde te verlaat, appears consisting of lyrics, photographs and songs.
Did you know?
||His CD, Beaufort-Wes se beautiful woorde, was released in 1998. The best-known songs include “Rivier”, “Beautiful in Beaufort-Wes” and “Waarom ek roep na jou vanaand”. The latter song is about the death of Koos du Plessis. The song “Beautiful in Beaufort-Wes” has been recorded by over 15 artists.
||In 2006 the prize-winning Dutch director Walter Stokman made a documentary, Beautiful in Beaufort-Wes, about Beaufort West with Gert as the main focus. The documentary was nominated for a Gouden Kalf award. Within the first week after its broadcast, nearly 4 000 of his albums were ordered. Since then Gert has been very popular in the Low Lands and he often performs to sell-out audiences.
om te lewe is onnatuurlik, Tafelberg (2007)
Ingrid Jonker Prize (1995) – om te lewe is onnatuurlik
List of titles
1993 om te lewe is onnatuurlik, Tafelberg
1999 Om Beaufort-Wes se beautiful woorde te verlaat, Queillerie
1999 De Afrikaanse poëzie in 1000 en enige gedichten (by Gerrit Komrij), Bert Bakker
2001 uit die stof die see die skuld se handevuurvoet tracks en die verstuite trein van wat verlange, Fenomeen