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Herman Pretorius has been involved in the South African music scene for a long time! Originally from Cape Town, this “Bellville Boy” is a blood brother of the now infamous Bellville rock scene elite, having played in high school rock bands with Afrikaans rock heavyweights, Francois van Coke and Wynand Myburgh.

After moving to Johannesburg, Herman worked as a Production Assistant in M-Net In-house Productions along with his brother, Henre. It was there that the initial idea for an Afrikaans music channel was first developed with Herman heading up the sourcing of the first 1000 South African music video’s and performances that would eventually make up the bulk of the MK channel content.

Along the way, Herman, having worked on numerous shows including JIP, Meet the Fan, Meltdown, Beatlab and Selekta and having met and befriended many of the top bands in South Africa, auditioned to be the presenter of a new music show AMP… and got it.

4 years and 120 episodes later, AMP was still going strong as one of the prime shows on MK, working hard towards uplifting the local live music industry and providing up to date information on the latest developments in the South African music scene. Then, last year after The Oppikoppi Festival (an important date on the South African Live music calendar), tragedy struck…

Herman had been complaining of mild back pain for months prior to Oppikoppi but he insisted on going with AMP. After the festival, Herman’s condition rapidly deteriorated and a month later his back pain was so intense that he was living off 9 Myprodol a day!
This caused him to develop stomach ulcers. It was during a routine stomach sonar, at Olivedale Clinic in Randburg, that the specialist observed what looked like a growth on his kidney. A lung x-ray confirmed their worst suspicions showing multiple tumours (lung metasteses) on his lungs.

Within a couple of days, Herman was with his family in Cape Town, receiving top medical care from a squad of highly trained professionals who worked day and night to diagnose his full condition. On the 3rd of November 2008 the results were in:
Herman had Stage 3 Testicular Cancer, with a secondary Lymph Cancer and Tertiary Lung Tumours, which were malignant.

Herman was broken – he was prematurely faced with the possibility that he was going to die aged 28! – however, after the initial shock, he made the decision not to give up.

That day, a fight began: A fight against an invisible enemy that lived inside of him. With the help and support of friends and family, Herman knuckled down and took the blows. Physically buckled from the chemotherapy, and literally sick to his stomach, he shed a quarter of his bodyweight, but he refused to give up. “I will not become a statistic, I’m not going to die like this” …

What initially seemed like a hopeless situation became Herman’s proof of life. He clawed his way back from a very dark place and returned stronger and wiser than before, armed with the knowledge of self and the awareness that life is precious and short. He worked and fought to be a beacon of positive energy. He picked himself up and continued to spread the word about Cancer and how it affects Young people. Through his work and everyday life, Herman made an undeniable impact on all who knew him or heard his story – giving hope and love to thousands of young people across South Africa.

Unfortunately, the extent of the disease, along with secondary complications from his last operation were too much for his system to ultimately defeat. On August 20th, 8 days before his 30th birthday, Herman passed.

The Vrede Foundation continues in his name, determined to carry on with it’s goal to assist Young People with Cancer. All events and Foundation activities will forever embody the love of life and positive energy that Herman epitomised.

If found early enough, and if treated aggressively, Cancer can be beaten.