Evita Bezuidenhout, or Tannie Evita as she is affectionately known, is back in a new show at Pieter Toerien’s Theatre On The Bay. ‘Evita Bezuidenhout & The Kaktus Of Separate Development’ can be seen at the Camps Bay venue from June 20 until July 1.
Evita Bezuidenhout has been part of South Africa’s political sessions of Big Brother since 1981. A former apartheid Ambassador in the Homeland of Bapetikosweti, she is now in the kitchens of Luthuli House where she cooks for reconciliation. She has always reminded us where we come from, so that we can celebrate where we are going. But since her three grandchildren have started asking questions about the past, Tannie Evita realises that while all the people of South Africa are now free to celebrate their roots, their history and their culture, white South Africans still are rootless. Especially the Afrikaner, whose official history was probably made up behind a desk in Pretoria as propaganda.
Peter Tromp caught up with Evita Bezuidenhout, the “most famous white woman in the African National Congress” on the eve of her latest opus.
How is Tannie Evita feeling on this beauteous day in the one and only Rainbow Nation?
EVITA BEZUIDENHOUT: I am happy to be in what can only be described as the most beautiful country in the world, filled with the nicest people and led by an array of political energies that defy description – meaning ‘moenie panic nie; alles sal regkom!’ (Don’t panic, everything will resolve itself.)
Tell us about what audiences can look forward to with your new show, ‘Evita Bezuidenhout and the Kaktus of Separate Development’. That is one long title, so is it correct to assume you have a lot on your mind?
EVITA BEZUIDENHOUT: I will have a conversation with my audience about where we come from and where we are going, with the accent on politically-incorrect phrases like ‘colonialism and tweets’, ‘racism and monkeys’ and the fact that if the people lead, the government must follow. So let us lead by example and believe that there is light at the end of the tunnel, even though that tunnel is curved.
Do you have any advice for people who might be growing demoralised by what the news dishes out on a daily basis?
EVITA BEZUIDENHOUT: We cannot ignore the dire realities of corruption, carelessness, arrogance and failure in most areas of government and society. But never ignore the energy and hope in your children and grandchildren, who see the future as their personal playground. Help them with education, commonsense and optimism. Their vote is the key to the door of their future. Encourage them to become involved and opinionated.
What is in your handbag right this moment?
EVITA BEZUIDENHOUT: O liewe aarde, let me look: my Blackberry, my lipstick, a small wallet with pictures of my grandchildren, a Xerox of my ID and driver’s licence, the latest Zapiro cartoon of Minister Gigaba and most important, some R5 coins that I can give to people who are waiting at robots for some help – with a smile.
What is your Rainbow Nation accessory of choice for the current political climate?
EVITA BEZUIDENHOUT: Not a visa to Australia.
Do you do social media and if yes, where can people find you?
EVITA BEZUIDENHOUT: My twitter handle is @TannieEvita. I have over 90000 followers, all probably in the same prison outside Rustenburg. And every Sunday you can follow a new episode on YouTube of my reality news-byte show called ‘Evita’s Free Speech’. We are now at Episode 93.
Being the paragon of transparency that you are, I will trust you to disclose any instances where you might have been compensated for your “impartial” opinions online.
EVITA BEZUIDENHOUT: I don’t tweet after a glass of Chardonnay, unlike others who will remain nameless.
Regarding Pieter-Dirk Uys, our Theatrical Satirist In Chief…we believe you’re acquainted- any ideas on what he has cooking at the moment, creatively speaking?
EVITA BEZUIDENHOUT: I don’t really have time for trivia. I believe he is doing a one-man memoir called ‘The Echo Of A Noise’ that follows me at the Theatre on the Bay from July 4. I won’t be seeing it as I have to go to Dubai to measure the new curtains for Duduzane Zuma’s little flat.
* Book at Computicket, or by calling 021 438 3310.