David Kramer

Legendary musician David Kramer composed and recorded track titled ‘Donkiehemel’. Image: Supplied

SA legend David Kramer shares love for donkeys in ‘Donkiehemel’ [watch]

Legendary muso David Kramer, who has a soft spot for donkeys, recorded a song titled ‘Donkiehemel’ which was released on World Donkey Day.

David Kramer

Legendary musician David Kramer composed and recorded track titled ‘Donkiehemel’. Image: Supplied

David Kramer is one of South Africa’s most recognised musicians, best known for his music and politically influenced stage plays. While donkeys are not high on the priority list for many, it is one for this music legend. 

The talented musician composed and recorded his song Donkiehemel to create awareness of the plight of working with donkeys and welfare work that takes place at Eseltjiesrus Donkey Sanctuary near McGregor in the Westen Cape. 

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The Eseltjiesrus Donkey Sanctuary, situated just five kilometres outside of McGregor, was founded in 2008, when the need for a safe refuge for abused, neglected donkeys and the need to raise awareness for their incredible qualities arose. 

Shortly after it was founded, legendary singer-songwriter and composer David Kramer agreed to be a patron of his donkey haven. 

“It was an honour to involve this celebrated and widely respected music and theatre personality from the inception of Eseltjiesrus,” said the chairman of the Eseltjiesrus Board, Dr Johan ban Zijl. 

Kramer said he has always had a soft spot for Donkeys. 

“As a child, I often saw them pulling carts, they were shouted at and beaten. They always seemed so tired and neglected. It felt unfair that they were so abused,” he added. 


The 70-year-old musician created his song Donkiehemel to create awareness about working with donkeys at a place like Eseltjiesrus. The song was launched on 8 May, which marked World Donkey Day. 

“When I recently visited Eseltjiesrus, there was a proposal that I write a song for them. At first, I could not imagine what I would sing about donkeys, but the next day, I saw the transformation in most of these animals.”

“It occurred to me that Eseltjiesrus must look like heaven to an abused donkey. When I first had the idea, the song came pretty easily.”


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The annual Eseltjiesrus Book Fair will take place between 16 and 18 June at the Dutch Reformed Church Oos Kerk Hall in Robertson. 

Thousands of new and secondhand books will be on sale to support the donkeys at Eseltjiesrus.