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Ms Laurika Rauch

The Order of Ikhamanga in

Ms Laurika Rauch Awarded for:
Her outstanding contribution to the field of music and raising awareness on political injustices through music. She bravely deployed her artistic talents to highlight the injustices and tyranny of apartheid rule.
Profile of Ms Laurika Rauch

Ms Laurika Rauch has captivated audiences with her music for the past 37 years. This celebrated artist, who mainly performs in Afrikaans, also has several English albums to her credit. Rauch has received numerous awards but what is less known is the important role she has played during the troubled 1970s and 1980s in South Africa.

She used music as a platform for speaking out against the wrongs of apartheid and with her many performances internationally, effectively distinguished herself as a devout ambassador for South Africa abroad.

Rauch became a household name in South Africa in 1978, with her hit Kinders van die wind (Children of the wind), which was the theme song for an SABC drama series. In 1979 her first album was released, in which she included two very powerful political songs, much to the dismay of the then apartheid-endorsing SABC.

The songs were: Mpanzaville, which is a political song “camouflaged” in those days, in order to be heard, in which Rauch sang of the evil crocodile cleverly using the nickname of PW Botha, “the big crocodile”. In the story, the crocodile is captured in Mpanzaville (one of the suburbs of Soweto). Atlantis, is a song that bemoans the forced removal of people in District Six and the dying children in the ghettos of Cape Town during apartheid.

Rauch received a medal of honour from the South African Academy for Arts and Science for her contribution to the South African music industry. She received a Gallo Award for the best performance in cabaret, and the Huisgenoot/You Lifelong Achievement award.

Despite her status as an icon and celebrated singer, Rauch makes every day a Madiba Day, by helping other people to help themselves. She is involved in charity work through the Steve Biko Beautiful Noise project that does cochlear ear implants on affected children.