Mattheus Hemelrijk # 18

Mattheus Hemelrijk # 18

The Sunday Session - LOGO white background without texts

-4 minute read-


The Sunday Session welcomes Mattheus Hemelrijk!

Its 2pm on Sunday, I’m cycling north to the Jordaan area of Amsterdam, I walk into Monumentje cafe to see Mattheus waiting for me at a table near the window. Music is playing and people are laughing.


Mattheus SS_011_ask

Mattheus, looks very comfortable in this place, he begins;

“I woke up, took a shower, and I thought about the place we were going to meet, which is Monumentje, this cafe, because it’s in the area where I was born, where I left when I was very young and then returned later. And it was kind of a ……..very important point in my life, all the things that happened here. So I was taking a shower, and all these stories came back, so then I understood why I picked this place and started really looking forward to meeting you and talking about it. And there are stories filled with grief actually, but also filled with hope. When I lived here, my father still lived, my brother still lived, and really good friends who have left us. I met the woman who gave me two daughters, this was after a very difficult point in my life.”

Mattheus goes on to tell me of wild stories from his life of 56 years, flats he’s lived in, his beautiful daughters, people he has lost, but again the area around the cafe Monumentje holds memories of all these people. Mattheus points a great quote on the bar reading ‘I used up all my sick days, so I called in Dead’, he says he loves the atmosphere of this place, full of laughs. He mentions his new love Raffaela, an exceptionally talented singer and puts some earphones on me……


Mattheus SS_102_ask

We leave the cafe, he tells me that he works in a popular book shop, and in his own time he broadcasts a radio show which began in 89′ as a pirate non-commercial radio station. One day his neighbour called him, telling him that his door had been kicked in. He went to the local police station with his mother and brother and his then girlfriend now the mother of his children and introduced himself to the front desk, at this moment two officers jumped over the counter and put him in handcuff’s and into jail, his mum standing there in horror. He tells me that because of the uncommercial nature of the show he didn’t believe he was doing anything illegal. Mattheus was charged as part of a criminal organisation for illegal broadcasting. They went on, winning the court case and were acquitted.  


Mattheus SS_164_ask

We take pictures around the quiet streets of the Jordaan with stories of the area flowing as we walk. Mattheus regularly broadcasts via internet radio with guests on Wednesday night at under the name of Himmelrych.