Councillor Raymond Knock’s name has become synonymous with politics in the King Sabata Dalindyebo (KSD) local municipality.
After all he is the leader of the DA in that area, one of the most vocal opposition parties in council.
But few know that this seasoned politician is also an accomplished musician in his own right, who has shared the stage with the legendary Brenda Fassie and Stompie Mavi.
The councillor can play several instruments, including rhythm guitar, lead guitar, bass guitar and drums. “I can play any instrument if I put my mind into it,” he said.
He is a member of the band Equiknox, which is made up of his older brother Valentine Knock, who sings and plays bass guitar, niece Lee-André Scharneck on vocals, Tallen Greewe on lead guitar, Ncedisa Qongqo on vocals and Irvin Hawker on saxophone.
The band has performed at weddings, parties and social gatherings from Mthatha to Port Elizabeth, Aliwal North and Durban for 12 years.
“We do all kinds of music. Although we have our own songs, we mostly perform cover songs from other artists,” the councillor said.
So versatile is the band that its members can’t say whether they are a jazz band, gospel outfit or rhythm and blues.
Knock was introduced to the world of music at the age of 15 by his older brother Valentine, who played in a band called Joey and the Knockouts which needed a drummer at the time..
Twelve years ago, Valentine was the resident musician at a popular nightclub in Mthatha.
The building was owned by none other than their cousins Brian and Lorna Adkins, who later urged them to form a band – and Equiknox was born. “I can’t remember when exactly but it was in the 1990s when we opened for Brenda Fassie. We also used to back Stompie Mavi whenever he played in the city but that was a long time ago,” chuckled Knock.
While he describes music as “my relaxation and de-stress”, Knock’s first love, however, is politics,
Recently the band performed to raise funds for the child of a friend who needed a wheelchair. Their efforts resulted in an individual donating more than R75000 towards the cause.
Despite his busy schedule as politician he has not dismissed the idea of his band recording its first official album. “It’s probably something I will probably do before I retire,” he added.
He cited the late evaluation and monitoring minister in the presidency Collins Chabane, a renowned musician, who juggling political commitments, as his inspiration.
“He showed me you can juggle the two and that is why I looked up to him a lot.”
Before joining the KSD council as a DA councillor, Knock used to be a member of the UDM. He also had a stint working for a company specialising in tarring roads, which he later ran himself.
Asked why the municipality was still inundated with complaints of poorly-kept roads and potholes when he had the know-how that could help the municipality, he said he had offered his services free of charge to the local authority but there had been no interest in taking him up on his offer. — sikhon@dispatch