Mario Van Rooy
Mario “Mr Devious” van Rooy, was born in Bonteheuwel on the Cape Flats of the Western Cape in 1977. Like most of the other townships scattered across the Cape Flats, Bonteheuwel was a hotbed of violence where the dynamics were drugs and gangsterism.
The van Rooy family moved to Mitchell’s Plain. Mario grew up in a house with strong family values, strong belief system and morals. By the age of sixteen, he was actively involved in church as a Youth leader who encouraged and motivated the youths. The majority of the youth enjoyed his way of talking and the way he brings things across.
At that time he formed a rap group with his friend Garth (Troy), a well known Artist referred to as “Western Block”. Devious started to promote his music and performed at various events to get his name out on the streets. His lyrics he raps about are social conscious issues of what we have to deal with in our society, and the way he sees and feel about things that’s “fucking” up our people state of minds. He also used to perform every Saturday matinee at a well-known club in Cape Town called “Angels” where they used to have open mic sessions. Devious collaborated with upcoming artists such as Prophets Of Da City. He recorded a few tracks with them (POC). He was invited by POC to go to London and do a few gigs with them. He was only seventeen – well ahead of his time – the majority of the upcoming artist could not believe this!
In the last few years of his life, Mario travelled to various countries, including Tanzania, Uganda, Sweden, Norway and Holland. He was seen as a growing influence on the African Hip Hop scene, whilst contributing to the international social justice movement.
On the 23rd of January 2004, Mario died violently at the hands of a small group of gang members. The very same youth that he dedicated his life’s work to. In the end he died with colors flying as he made the ultimate sacrifice defending his dad who was being stabbed and robbed. He left behind his wife Natalie, his two young daughters and an unborn child.
Mario’s death was a huge blow to all those who were touched by Mario’s beautiful spirit. In the mourning and healing process, a strong film idea emerged that went beyond a “tribute”, an exhibition was set up in memory of Devious, and some beautiful street-art emerged in his wake.
Red Everything Movement