Tribute Sundayz – R.I.P To All The Fallen Legends – Leon Botha (S.A)

Leon Botha

Born – 4 June 1985
Cape Town, South Africa
Died – 5 June 2011 (aged 26)
Cape Town
Occupation – Painter, entertainer
Years active – 2007–2011

Leon Botha (4 June 1985 – 5 June 2011)[1] was a South African hip hop artist and DJ, as well as one of the world’s oldest survivors of progeria.[2]


Botha was born in Cape Town, South Africa and lived there until his death. He was diagnosed with progeria around the age of 4 years. He had no formal training in art beyond high school courses at the Tygerberg Art Centre, but became a full-time painter after graduation, doing commissioned works.

In 2005, Botha successfully underwent heart bypass surgery to prevent a heart attack due to progeria-related atherosclerosis.[3] In January 2007, Botha had his first solo art exhibition, entitled “Liquid Sword; I am HipHop”, revolving around hip-hop culture as a way of life.[4] It took place at the Rust-en-Vrede (which translates to Peace and Quiet) gallery in Durbanville and was opened by Mr Fat of the South African Hip Hop group Brasse Vannie Kaap.[5] His second solo exhibition opened in March 2009 and featured pieces of the artist’s life. Botha was asked if the title “Liquid Swords; Slices of Lemon” referred to the adage “If life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” Botha said no, adding, “Lemons? I slice ’em and serve ’em back!”[6]

In January 2010 he hosted the first exhibit of “Who Am I? …Transgressions”, a photo collaboration with Gordon Clark, at the João Ferreira Gallery in Cape Town.[7] Botha said of the exhibition, “I am a spiritual being, the same as you, primarily. Then I’m a human being and this part of the human being is the body, which has a condition.”[8]

Botha was also engaged in deejaying and turntablism under the name DJ Solarize.[9] He was featured alongside Watkin Tudor Jones, aka Ninja, in the music video “Enter the Ninja” from Die Antwoord.[10]

In November 2010, Botha suffered a stroke.[11] Botha died from complications of progeria in Cape Town one day after his 26th birthday.[12]

Red Everything Movement


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