Motivational guru: Tokkies are a solo act again

8th October 2004, Comments 0 comments

8 October 2004 , AMSTERDAM — Motivational guru Emile Ratelband has withdrawn his offer to buy a house for the Tokkies, the Netherlands' most famous misfit family, because they are making enough money from public appearances.

 8 October 2004

AMSTERDAM — Motivational guru Emile Ratelband has withdrawn his offer to buy a house for the Tokkies, the Netherlands' most famous misfit family, because they are making enough money from public appearances.

The Tokkies are asking large sums of money for appearances at parties and other public events.

The family became infamous across the Netherlands after several television documentaries were made about their alleged anti-social behaviour. They were evicted from their Amsterdam home in January this year, after a neighbourhood feud got out of hand in August 2003.

Family members on both sides fought each other with baseball bats, shots were fired at a building and a flat was set on fire on the night of 19 August 2003. Five people were injured and police arrested eight people.

Ratelband — known for his motivational mantra "Tsjakkaa" — stepped into the breach in August 2004 and promised to buy the Tokkies a home. Two months later and the family are still homeless as Ratelband's finances appear to be insufficient to cover the cost of the new home.

Prospective neighbours have also been less than thrilled by the prospect of living next door to the infamous family.

But the Tokkies are now exploiting their less-than-savoury image. They are being booked for special events and will soon be seen in an advertising campaign, RTL News reported Friday.

"What then is the need for my help?" Ratelband said.

Booking office Agency Jan Vis announced Friday that the family has 18 confirmed appearances. Nightclubs, student associations and events organisers are interested in booking the family.

For EUR 1,775, father Gerrie Ruijmgaart, mother Hanna Tokkie and their two children can be booked for 90 minutes to pull beers, sign autographs, pose in photographs or to give a speech.

The Tokkies have also signed a contract for tens of thousands of euros to appear in an advertisement for internet service provider Chello.

But Ratelband said the rehabilitation of the family was one of his conditions and he was opposed to the family continuing to profile itself as anti-social.

Nevertheless, he also said it was positive that the Tokkies had turned their anti-social behaviour into an advantage.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news

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