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Local residents see Kanye West chilling in Wijnegem. Yes, really

14:55 27/09/2021

Kanye West was in Wijnegem last week, where he may have bought a flat. Yes, you read that right. Arguably the most famous rapper in the world, whose celebrity status instantly doubled upon his marriage to professional socialite Kim Kardashian, was spotted in the suburb east of Antwerp best known for being home to Belgium’s biggest shopping mall.

West (pictured) may still be in Wijnegem, according to the neighbourhood resident who chatted with the global superstar while walking his dogs. We are not making this up.

One Peter Hoste, who lives across the street from the Kanaal complex – a former industrial site transformed into an arts and antiques hub, high-end shopping, office space and artistically inclined lofts – told Radio 2 Antwerp all about the unexpected encounter.

“I was on the corner of the street, and my youngest dog ran towards a man who wasn’t very tall,” begins Hoste, memorably. “I apologised, and the man answered in English. I asked him if he lived on the street, and he looked at me kind of funny. He asked if I didn’t know who he was and told me he was Kanye West.”

Hoste, rather down to earth, replied that he had “heard of him” but that “our musical tastes are probably very different. He laughed at that.”

Local connection

According to the neighbourhood buzz, West – who famously ran for president in 2020 – had been staying at the Kanaal site for about a week at the time. Hoste is not the only one to have spied the celebrity in the area.

“My neighbours are big fans but hadn’t seen him yet,” Hoste said. “Apparently there are no bodyguards, he’s just looking for peace and quiet in Wijnegem. This is the right place for that; it’s really fantastic to live here.”

West is in fact friends with Axel Vervoordt, the ultra-rich owner of Kanaal. Vervoordt is a Belgian arts and antiques dealer, collector and interior designer. He is known for providing services to the stars, including West/Kardashian, Robert De Niro, Bill Gates and Madonna.

Word on the street is that West has secured one of the lofts at Kanaal. The rapper is known to have many houses across the US, so it could be that he is expanding his nomadic tendencies. He and Kardashian announced earlier this year that they are getting a divorce.

Hoste doesn’t know if West has actually bought a flat, but “if so, then I’ll be seeing a lot more of him in the future,” he said. “And now I’ll recognise him.”

Photo courtesy Kanye West/Instagram


Written by Lisa Bradshaw