It is with great sadness that we mourn the passing of a true giant of African music, Marvin ‘DJ Spoko’ Ramalepe (15/08/82 – 14/03/18). The young electronic music producer was born in Limpopo, and grew up in Atteridgeville, Pretoria, honing his love for music as part of the Hip-Hop crew GBE. DJ Spoko went on to create and enrich various musical styles that swept through South Africa and eventually the world, including Sghubu Sa Pitori, Direkere and most famously Bacardi House and Shangaan Electro.

Marvin went on to put his city on the map and redefine South African house through monumental songs such as ‘Mugwanti’, ‘Township Funk’ and ‘Cucumba’, alongside colleagues such as Mujava. He moved to further pushed the envelope by fusing his style of production with maskandi and rock as part of the collective Fantasma.

Marvin enjoyed global acclaim and was at the beginning of a promising touring career when he was struck by  illness. Never one to give up, Marvin put his love of music to the world until the very last days of his life.

His great talent, uncanny wisdom, sense of humour and charm will be missed by his friends, family, and fans around the world. He was a true pioneer who despite his humble background, used his abilities to make a living for himself and inspire many people around the world.

DJ Spoko’s funeral service will be this weekend in Atteridgeville, Pretoria. Any contributions towards the wellbeing of his 3 young children, will be greatly appreciated. Continue to support and share his music, and keep the legacy of The King of Snares alive.


DJ Spoko – Discography




Words by Spoek Mathambo