Expatica news

‘Mr Positive’ finds house hunting isn’t easy

28 September 2004

AMSTERDAM — Dutch motivational guru Emile Ratelband vowed to find them a place to live, but the chance Amsterdam’s most famous misfit family, the Tokkies, ever get a home of their own is growing smaller by the day, it was reported Tuesday.

To much fanfare, Ratelband announced back in August that he intended to buy a house for Tokkies following their eviction last January. Since then, the Tokkies — made famous by a television documentary — have had to stay with friends and on occasion sleep on the street.

The Tokkies were evicted after a feud with neighbours got out of hand in August 2003. Family members on both sides fought each other with baseball bats, shots were fired and a flat in Geuzenveld-Slotermee was set on fire. Five people were injured and police arrested eight people.

Ratelband — known for his motivational mantra TSJAKKAA! — pitched in and declared he would find a home for the hapless Tokkies.

But in a series of fiascos since then — the last of which involves a newly built house in Nieuw-Vennep — financial inquiries have found that Ratelband’s various companies have limited credit worthiness.

Moreover, Ratelband is refusing to personally become guarantor for a possible purchase, newspaper De Telegraaf reported on Tuesday.

Ratelband had announced this weekend that he had found a house for the Tokkies — who are renowned for weight and health problems, plus joblessness, bad manners and violence — but to prevent any possible problems, he refused to reveal where.

The newspaper revealed on Tuesday the house was on the Wielestein in Nieuw-Vennep and that Ratelband did not intend to buy the house, as promised. The house is for rent.

A local in the Getsewoud district was aghast when informed by a reporter she could soon be living alongside the Netherlands’ most infamous family. “Oh, the Tokkies. No! Please, not here,” the 32-year-old woman said.

If was up to headman Gerrie “Tokkie” Ruijmgaart, the family would be given a home in Almere, preferably with a business premise attached to enable him to restart his failed window-fitting business.

As things stand at the moment it remains unclear if Ratelband — who runs an institute to teach business, management and private life “special skills” — can fulfil his promise to buy the Tokkies a home for a maximum of EUR 300,000.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news