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Help Lit City Trax' DJ Spoko Return to South Africa to Get Medical Aftercare

UPDATE: The artist has released a "Special Edition" LP to raise awareness about Tuberculosis.
November 11, 2015, 8:40pm
Artwork for DJ Spoko's War God LP on Lit City Trax, artwork by Kim Laughton

UPDATE [Friday November 13]: Via a statement posted to his bandcamp, DJ Spoko revealed that he spent three weeks at Glasgow Scotland at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital this fall to receive treatment for Tuberculosis, after being diagnosed with the illness during a string of tourdates in the UK. While there, he apparently also recorded a brand new "Special Edition" EP from his hospital bed. "Is Special Edition i did it well i was admitted at Glasgow Scotland at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital," Spoko writes. "i spent three weeks there after my body failed me to accomplish my UK tour i ended up in hospital finding out that i'm diagnosed with TB so by buying this album you will be donating on what i call Spoko foundation going around educating those who doesn't know about this infection." Purchase a copy of the EP here.


Most of the world was first introduced to Marvin Ramalepe's music as DJ Spoko through his 2013 EP Ghost Town on True Panther Sounds, as well as 2014's War God, a full LP released on Lit City Trax. Since then, the artist has received widespread acclaim for his self-styled "bacardi house," which combines conventional house music, Shangaan electro, and kwaito, a South African adaptation of hip-hop. Now, an artist who has brought many of us joy needs your help.

Unfortunately, Ramalepe recently fell ill on the last stop of a recent European tour, in Glasgow. He's luckily since recovered, but now needs to return to his native home in South Africa to receive necessary aftercare. This Saturday, November 14, between 2:30 and 3:30 P.M., DJs Auntie Flo and Esa—co-founders of the Highlife World Series, which presents music by local musicians from Cuba, Kenya, Uganda—will be auctioning off a copy of the highly sought-after original pressing of Letta Mbulu's 1983 LP In The Music The Village Never Ends. The event will take place at the Chimurenga pop-up Library in London's Showroom Gallery, and all funds from purchases on their Bandcamp will also go toward getting Spoko well and back home. You can read Spoko's story here, as told by Esa to The Vinyl Factory:

"Marvin aka DJ Spoko has recently been on a European tour, upon arriving in Glasgow for his last show with the Highlife crew, Marvin fell unwell and was admitted to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital. Marvin underwent serious medical treatment for life threatening diseases very common in South Africa, Marvin has since recovered and will spend another week in Glasgow for extra medical attention, Marvin has since shared his medical condition with young University students and plans to deliver educational programmes regarding all over the World from here forth.

Highlife are fundraising for when Marvin will be released to ensure he travels safely back to his family in Limpopo, South Africa, that he also receives the aftercare needed at this stage and has the resources to share his experiences with those who need it most in the townships of South Africa.

_Donations are welcome here by purchasing the Highlife Worlds Series releases, alls fund [sic.] will go towards getting Marvin back to SA and aftercare, the rest for funding the Santuri East Africa project further."_

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