Chappies thumbs up helps singer rock on

Singer Ike Moriz next to the thumbs-up rock formation he came across on Chapman’s Peak several years ago and which he credits with helping to give him a new perspective on life. Picture: Supplied.

After his Dragons album tour last year, Hout Bay singer Eike “Ike” Moriz is on the road again, performing at concerts in Hamburg, Germany this month.

The singer, songwriter, producer has lived in Hout Bay since 2007 when he moved from Johannesburg.

Besides his concerts and album releases, the 51-year-old offers guitar, piano and singing lessons as well as studio recordings and productions.

Growing up near Hamburg, Germany, there was always music in the family home. Ike’s parents, Kai and Waltraud Moriz, were jewellers, but his mother played piano, sang and composed songs for friends and family. His grandmother was a concert pianist and his grandfather was an opera singer, among other professions.

Early in life, Ike started playing the piano and joined in the singing or made up his own songs. Even after studying music and doing music degrees in Dresden, Rotterdam and Cape Town, his routine has not changed, except that now his two children are playing and singing along too.

Ike married Madri le Roux-Moriz, the sister of singer Nataniël, in 2012, at Buitenverwachting wine estate. They have two daughters, Sofia Marie, 10, and Kateline, 14, who go to school in Llandudno and Camps Bay.

Music has always been an “exhilarating exploration of the world and my soul”, Ike told the Sentinel from Germany. “I loved exploring the multi-faceted repertoire of singers like David Bowie, Iggy Pop and John Lennon. Becoming a songwriter and musician was the only sensible thing to do for me.”

During his musical career, he has explored various styles and genres, including indie-pop, glam, Britpop, blues, rock, pop, jazz, swing, Latin and even reggae and country.

“Commercially, my album, Love Swings, has been the biggest best seller, but after releasing over 300 songs and 20 albums, it’s hard to pick a favourite.”

One of the pictures he sent to the Sentinel is titled “Ike’s Thumb”. It’s a rock formation he came across on Chapman’s Peak over 11 years ago. He was involved with the movement to stop the toll plaza on Chappies, wanting to protect the mountain’s ecosystem. At the same time, he was going through a bad break-up, and, while hiking up the peak, he sat exhausted, sad and tired, looking at a rock formation that, from a certain angle, resembled a thumbs-up shape.

“Something shifted inside me at that moment that changed my attitude about my own life as well as my outlook on Hout Bay as a community,” says Ike.

He says the picture he took of the formation was printed on postcards and newspaper front pages and has subsequently become known as Ike’s Thumb. He feels it is a symbol of hope and unity. Shortly afterwards, he met Madri, whom he describes as “the love of my life”.

Ike has performed in many countries but performing three concerts in one night in Amsterdam in the 2000s sticks in his mind “because a whole bunch of fans followed me from concert to concert till the early hours of the morning”.

Of life in Hout Bay, he says he enjoys hiking, running and beach walks as well as the people, the ocean, the restaurants and coffee shops and the beautiful views.

“Hout Bay has such a rich and uniquely diverse population with people from all kinds of cultural backgrounds, and yet somehow we make it work by supporting, communicating and learning from each other.”

The family are returning to Hout Bay today, Friday August 4.

Ike Moriz on his Dragons 2022 tour in Hamburg.
Ike Moriz and his wife, Madri Le Roux-Moriz, at Hout Bay Harbour.