“My father was often absent as a father figure. The book was a way to remember him. For us as a family it was healing and therapeutic.”
These were the words of Pierre-Henri Wicomb, son of Afrikaans singer Randal Wicomb, on Kleur: my lied, my lewe, a biography on Randall Wicomb who passed away from prostate cancer in December at the age of 66.
The book was released in 2015 and was written by Amos van der Merwe, who spent six years working on it. Randal Wicomb was originally scheduled to discuss his biography during the Woordfees but after his death the event became a tribute to the late singer.
The essence of the discussion of the book centered on the impact the book left on those closest to Randal, specifically his three children Pierre-Henri, Koba, Saskia and his wife, Koba Wicomb. The discussion was led by radio presenter Johan Rademan along with Van der Merwe.
The book is a reflection of Wicomb’s life. It takes a deeper look into his search for identity, his childhood and the relationships in his life. It was initially intended to be written from a light-hearted angle, but unexpected life events contributed to a much deeper angle.
“It went from being a cute book to a story about our land. Randall questioned his own identity and the identities of other people,” said Van der Merwe.
Wicomb had a unique relationship with all his children. The foundation of their relationship was formed through music. According to Van der Merwe, he was very proud of them.
Van der Merwe spent many hours with the Wicomb family and described it as an interesting journey.
“It got very deep on certain occasions and other times we could laugh together,” said Van der Merwe.
Koba described her late husband as a kaleidoscope person.
“The children could develop a free identity. They also inherited their father’s energy,” she said.
The Wicomb family performed two songs in honour of Randal, one of which they sang at his funeral. The songs were arranged in four voices by Pierre-Henri.