Die Antwoord's Tour Cameraman Was Stoned 24/7

Stephen Andrews
27 May 2022

The South African rave-rap duo recently announced they are working on new material. Watkin Tudor "Ninja" Jones and Anri "Yolandi Visser" du Toit have a lot of stoner fans around the world, thanks to trippy hot tracks like "Fatty Boom Boom," "I Fink U Freeky," and "Dagga Puff." In a recent post on Facebook, the pair also dropped comments about a former employee who worked as their tour cameraman and was "permanently stoned on the job." Although Die Antwoord's music is affirmative dagga puffin, it seems there was a problem that one of their crew members was high all of the time.

Since their very appearance, the South African duo Die Antwoord has been the epitome of controversy and shock. They've mocked Lady Gaga in a revenge video, and they've never been shy to show a big fat blunt or a phallus as part of the visual elements in their videos.

The band's name means "the answer" in Afrikaans, one of the languages they write and sing their lyrics. Ninja and Yolandi Visser's style is the embodiment of "ZEF," which, in the words of Yolandi, refers to a culture "associated with people who soup their cars up and rock gold and shit. Zef is, you're poor but you're fancy. You're poor but you're sexy, you've got style."

Die Antwoord debuted on the world stage a little more than a decade ago with the single "Enter the Ninja," followed by their first album release, "$O$," which smashed some more hits such as "Beat Boy" and "Rich B***h."

Because of their provocative style and brand, Ninja and Yolandi have often been the target of critics or "haters" throughout their careers.

In the recent Facebook post, the band members react to certain actions taken by one of their former employees. It concerns their former tour cameraman, named Ben Crossman, who the pair says he has stalked them ever since he was fired from the post. And most recently, Crossman stated in an affidavit that Ninja and Yolandi's teenage daughter, Sixteen Jones, was in danger and needed to be removed immediately from their care. 

"With fame comes stalker, Die Antwoord's number 1 stalker being a man called Ben Crossman, an ex-South African currently living in France," reads the post.

"Ben used to work for Die Antwoord as a tour cameraman until he got fired for being permanently stoned on the job.

"Ever since then, Ben has dedicated his life to creating slander campaigns about Die Antwoord. Ben spends his days doctoring video footage of Ninja and Yolandi to make them seem like bad people. He then posts these doctored videos online, accompanied by an ongoing campaign of fake news and hate speech directed at Die Antwoord and their family."

The relation between Ninja, Yolandi and Ben has apparently seriously deteriorated over the last couple of years. Ben reportedly went to the police in France and swore an affidavit stating that the pair was a threat to their teenage daughter Sixteen Jones. 

Simultaneously, South African Social Services were contacted by another man, Adriaan Basson, the editor-in-chief of News24, who made the same allegations against the couple. The move appears coordinated with Crossman. Subsequently, social services visited Ninja and Yolandi; however, all went well, and there were no reasons for concern, the bandmates said. 

Ninja and Yolandi also dropped comments about Tokkie, a young man that the couple reportedly helped foster since he was a kid. They write in the post that when "Tokkie got older and started taking drugs, Ninja and Yolandi put their foot down and stopped supporting him financially."

They add: "Tokkie came from a very broken home. We tried our best to help him, but unfortunately you can't help someone who doesn't want to be helped. We urge Tokkie to turn himself in and seek professional help."

Ben Crossman allegedly used Tokkie as a source to create one of the disputed videos Die Antwoord complained about. The two prepared a YouTube video showing that Tokkie had a "terrible life" with Die Antwoord. A PayPal account attached to the video asks people to donate money to Tokkie to "fix up his house." Yolandi and Ninja believe that Ben and Tokkie split the money from the donations and that Tokkie uses those money to buy drugs.

After Ninja and Yolandi present their side of their story in the FB post, they conclude with a message of peace: "Moving forward, even though some people say the craziest things about us, we have no hate in our hearts towards them, just love and understanding. We wish peace on everyone in the world (our little hate club included) and we send our blessings out to everyone and hope they all find their way in time."

All summed up, I am still curious how getting stoned can get you fired when working for performers such as Die Antwoord? Must have been really really incapacitated if this is true!

Stephen Andrews