It’s March 4th and if you’re a ProVerb music fan, you’d know what that means. Question though; did you need to read about it in a memoir?
What defines a man? Is it one defining moment that sets him apart? Or is it his entire life, from when he drew his first breath and began charting his legacy. In late 2020, rapper, entrepreneur, TV and radio host, ProVerb released a memoir, The Book of ProVerb, in which he and co-author Paballo Rampa detail his life and journey written from personal knowledge.
I for one, being a lover and fan of all things hip hop, have known and identified with ProVerb from the scope of the culture. As Sabelo Mkhabela from Okay Africa writes, ProVerb is “one of South Africa's revered lyricists”. Thus my expectation, going into this memoir, I had hoped to read mostly about Verb’s hip hop story. However, is his rap career all that defines the man we’ve all come to know and love?
“Holding down 4 jobs like she Proverb sonny” - AKA on “ Ladies Is Pimps Too”
With a music career spanning for over a period over 15 years, accompanied by five albums and a mixtape, a TV career dating back from 2003 on Channel O, Jam Alley Versus, The Mic and then rolling over to present day, on South African Idols. Better yet, the property investment portfolio which we only got to read about in the recently released memoir, all these prove that the man is indeed multiple faceted.
Should we as the hip hop fraternity get mad when he chooses to dedicate a significant portion of his memoir to things other than his involvement in a genre of music we all hold dear to our hearts? By what estimation to do we limit his colourful life story to only the music portion? And as Sabelo himself professes ‘maybe this is really what ProVerb makes of his story, and he has every right to choose how to frame it”
From the outside looking in, we should leave room for the personal growth that ProVerb has undergone in charting all aspects of his life. Limiting him and or his memoir to his days where we identified with Verb the emcee would be not only short sighted, but myopic.
After all the greats are more than just one sided, it’s their unbounded potential and ability to surpass our expectations that made us fall in love with them in the first place. The Book of ProVerb can be purchased in retail bookstores for hard copies and is also available for digital download on online stores. Read the man’s memoirs and come up with your own conclusions, if you’re a hip hop fan leave your cape at the door before you enter.