In case you missed it: Die Antwoord, the Boing Boing interview


Perhaps you missed Boing Boing's interview on Friday with South African rap-rave zef gangsters Die Antwoord? And the news that the recently-minted internet stars shook hands (and pinched cheeks) with Interscope Records, tapped District 9 helmer Neill Blomkamp to direct their next music video, they'll likely be performing at Coachella, and they're developing a movie?

Read the Boing Boing Die Antwoord interview here.

After that, they went off to meet David Lynch. The band says,

Ninja called David 'Dad'. David said "You turned out alright son." David also said, "I was a bit worried about you for a while there, but you turned out alright." Ninja said "I'm a lucky duck." David said, "You're a good guy."
Image: A photo shot last night in New York City by Clayton James Cubitt. "Yo-Landi jumps on bed while Ninja tries to nap."


  1. Great news! They deserve some success. I just got back an hour ago from the local electronics store here in Cologne, Germany where the Die Antwoord song “Ninja” was **BLASTING** out of the games section into the whole store – internet/reality crossover!

  2. To our South African friends and others who might know:

    1. In watching a number of these (and related) videos, there is a gesture I’ve seen used several times by Yolandi Visser – and some of the others – where a fist is extended, however the fist includes the thumb poking through. What does this gesture mean?

    2. Does anyone know the approximate age of “Ninja” and “Yolandi”? Ninja looks like he’s lead a tough life and that he may be in his 40s. Yolandi Visser looks like a pre-pubescent teenager. I have read that they are married. I would imagine that Ninja is younger than he looks and Yolandi is older than she looks. Anyone?

    3. “Ninja’s” earlier life has been revealed to be one of some privilege. He is certainly at a minimum “middle class” and apparently from an English speaking community. (Presumably he speaks English at home as his first language.) Do most white South Africans learn to speak/read/write both English and Afrikaans or is it unusual to see somebody like “Ninja” apparently communicating in flawless Afrikaans?

    Anything else anyone would care to share will be appreciated.

    1. Thumb through the fingers is like “Fuck You” the afrikaans for fuck (similar multiple uses as in english) is “Naai” which literally means sewing (needle pushing through fabric being like sex).

      Thumb is like the needle pushing through. so essentially just flipping the bird

    2. 1. The thumb is the penis, with the fingers enclosing it being the vagina.
      2. Who knows?
      3. The school system has both English & Afrikaans as compulsory subjects.

    3. Usually when they make this gesture they are saying “Boost”. I always took this gesture to represent leveling a firearm at someone, either for the purposes of robbery (thus boost, or steal) or intimidation (boost, as to lift someone off the ground with force, as with the momentum of a large caliber bullet). Either way: let’s hope they aren’t serious. ;)

      Has anyone noticed Ninja’s totally awesome Ren and Stimpy hoodie?

      1. A thumb through the finger extended as a fist means f-you. (None of this stupid penis/vagina stuff).
        They are not saying “boost”, they are saying “Poes” which is the afrikaans equivalent of saying the c-word for the vagina. To extend give the f-sign with your fist, and say “poes” at the same time, is like saying “f-you c..”
        Ninja and Yolandi are Afrikaans, not English. They sound like poor whites, rather than middle class. It is extremely common for most south africans to be at minimum bilingual, if not multi-lingual. After all, there are 11 official languages in the country. Even the soap operas here in south africa have at least 3 leanguages spoken in them.
        Ps – I know someone who knew them and told me that they are married. (In case you haven’t guessed, I am south african)

      2. Boos is a word in afrikaans. It means evil but they use it as slang meaning you suck at what you do. Yo-landi’s voice is awesome and she’s hot as hell. She can spit too

    4. 1)I seem to recall it somewhere in a Shakespeare play. “A fig for you!” Weird if the gesture goes back to Elizabethan England. But yeah, it means “f-off.”

    5. Ninja matriculated in ’92, so that should make him 36 old. Also, he is married to Yolandi and they have a child together too!

  3. No they are not married.. this was discussed by Yolandi herself on her facebookpage.. ninja is 36 or 37..not sure about Yolandi..most possibly 24ish..

    from Zef Africa

  4. 1. Like other people said, the sign is basically f-you. In Afrikaans it’s called a “toffie” (lit. toffee)

    2. Ninja is in his early 40’s. Yolandi is about 30.

    3. It’s very rare for anyone in SA to only be able to speak one language. If the person is white or coloured chances are they’ll speak at least Afrikaans and English. If a person is black (in SA that is different from being coloured) they’ll probably at least speak their home language and English or Afrikaans (differs with age and region).

    We’ve got 11 official languages and people mix and match any way they want to. It is very common for people to switch between languages while having a conversation – sometimes even in mid-sentence.

  5. I think Die Antwoord are great, and I’ve been a fan of Ninja (aka Watkin Tudor Jones) since The Original Evergreens. They’ve earned their recognition. I just think they’re playing a dangerous game by insisting that their current incarnation is 100 percent legitimate.

    I don’t think people would mind much knowing that Die Antwoord is an act, especially because they pull it off with aplomb. I’m just worried that they’re going to get a Streisland effect if they hold on to their mask too tightly, and then it gets ripped off to reveal that they’re not as lower class as they first appear.

    But a David Lynch Die Antwoord movie? Wow.

  6. Waddy, sorry, Ninja. F-ing superb. Saw him play (bout 2 years ago) while shrooming. gawdamn.
    Personally I can’t stand the sound these guys make. As a south african I can respect their angle and I’m obviously proud that we’re making an international impact. But yeah, it’s like being yelled at by a couple of rednecks in a parking lot.
    Hope the movie is as confusing/disorienting as the music.

  7. How come everyone is missing the big story here – David Lynch should be directing their next video! How many flavors of backward-talking awesome is that.

    Red velvet curtains and little men muttering “Llllllllet’s Rock!” into olde tyme style microphones.

  8. I find it really ironic that these guys have been busting their ass all over the South Africa scene for a good decade…and nobody notices them until they choose an act that is so uber white trash as to bugger belief (but just barely believable).

    Their breakout video reminded me a bit of that father and son bit.

    People love their scheudenfreude :P

  9. Ninja (real name is Watkin Tudor Jones?) went to a larny (fancy) boys school in Jo’burg – an English speaking school. He seems to be fluent in Afrikaans which he would have learnt at school as a second language, as it was compulsory and his accent is good (in my opinion as an English speaker). He would be about 36. Someone I work with was at school with him.

    This doesn’t mean what he is doing as Die Antwoord isn’t authentic because it is. He is presenting a sector of South African culture fairly accurately and humourously. The conversation with the drug dealer at the beginning of Dagga Puff is spot on as are lyrics in the song Doosdronk which is basically about a drunken night out. I’m sure that the words spoken in that song are heard every weekend on the Cape Flats and some of the other suburbs of Cape Town.

  10. Ninja (Waddy) finished school in ’93 (Parktown Boys. Not such a fancy school. Regular middle class boys school in Joburg). So that makes him about 35. We all used to hang out together. It’s normal for us all to be able to speak English and Afrikaans, if you paid attention in school, since learning both languages was compulsory throughout school, although his family is English-speaking.

    Our groups sort of used to hang out together at school, and we worked together a little in the years after. What I loved about readng this interview was that it’s the first time since the advent of the DA hype that he’s sounded like himself. He must be excited. Good for them.

  11. Yolandi and Ninja have a child together but they are not married. Check their page,

  12. ninja and yo-landi do have a child together and no they didnt always dress and act like this, do your research people. “ninja” or known as watkin tudor jones or “max normal” “the man who never came back” “MC totally rad” “yang weapon” “waddy” was born sept.26th 1974. this is their persona their stage “character” i guess u would call it. i believe that yolandi is about 26 years old she was born in 1984, im not sure on the age of their child.

  13. Who cares if they’re legitimate South African White Trash? They’re very talented and entertaining, regardless of their backgrounds. Their work is the product of their own creative impulses and dedication, not some corporation that “manufactures talent” after doing focus groups and studies on what’s supposedly hip. More power to them. They deserve to make it big.

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