Rapper Zwangere Guy wins Brusseleer of the Year

Summary

The agency that promotes the Brussels dialect has chosen hip-hop artist Zwangere Guy and the head of Troone puppet theatres as this year’s honourees

Brussels Dialect Week

Rapper Zwangere Guy is Brusseleir van ’t Joêr (Brusseleer of the Year) for 2019. The honour is bestowed every year during Weik van ’t Brussels.

Weik van ’t Brussels (Brussels Dialect Week) is hosted every year by be.Brusseleir, an organisation supported by the Brussels and Flemish regions to promote the original Brussels dialect. It sponsors activities all year, but this is really its time to shine.

Zwangere Guy (pictured) – born Gorik Van Oudheusden – has lived his entire life in Brussels and is credited with raising the profile of Dutch speakers in the capital. “As a Fleming, I’ve always had to defend myself,” he told Flanders Today in 2017. “That’s how I ended up with such a big mouth. I like the multicultural environment … but it’s the je m’en foutisme – the couldn’t-care-less attitude – that makes Brussels really special.”

The 31-year-old hip-hop artist was born in Ukkel and has also lived in Ganshoren, Molenbeek and Schaarbeek. “I love my city, and I rap about it, solo as well as with the group Stikstof,” he said after winning the prize. “Winning a prize is always nice, but Brusseleir van ’t Joêr is really quite special.”

As part of Weik van ’t Brussels, be.Brusseleir also hands out Brusseleir vè et leive, or Brusseleer for Life, a lifetime achievement award. This year it went to José Géal of the Toone puppet theatre. Géal is credited with saving the historical house of marionettes from vanishing in the 1960s when the sixth in the line of Toone puppeteers decided to stop but had no heir.

Photo: Nils Quintelier/BELGA