Die Antwoord collaborator and visual artist Leon Botha dies at 26
South African painter and DJ Leon Botha died of heart failure in Cape Town on June 5. At 26, Botha was one of the oldest known people living with progeria, a genetic condition that stunted his growth and gave him a prematurely aged appearance. Few people with progeria live past the age of 13.
As evidenced by his Flickr photostream, Botha's visual art drew inspiration from myriad sources, incorporating imagery from the hip-hop world, martial arts, Buddhism, and ancient Egypt. Botha also deejayed under the name DJ Solarize.
Already an artist of some renown at home, Botha got a taste of international celebrity when Cape Town rap outfit Die Antwoord featured him in its "Enter the Ninja" video. That video (see below) went viral in early 2010, boosting Die Antwoord out of obscurity and into global pop culture.
In response to the news of Botha's death, Die Antwoord MC Ninja took to the group's Twitter and Facebook accounts and posted the following simple message: "REST IN PEACE LITTLE BUDDHA".