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Right, it’s official, Tannie Evita Bezuidenhout has joined the ANC. She arrived for her press conference this week in an elegant green, black and gold caftan, decorated with plenty of bling. It’s a real fashion statement.
She also introduced her latest acquisition, her adopted son Johannes, from Polokwane, Limpopo. After all, if Charlize Theron can do it, so can she.
Evita alter ego and award-winning performer Pieter-Dirk Uys’s latest play, Adapt or Fly, opened this week at the Joburg Theatre.
It is an update on his 30-year-old classic, Adapt or Dye.
Baby Johannes also has an alter-ego – his name is Ju-u – who will be appearing on the show, along with 17 other characters – from the apartheid era to now.
After 30 years in politics, how does South Africa’s “first lady of comedy” see her role in our present government?
Quick as a flash, Bezuidenhout responded: “To move them on from the fantasy of liberation to the reality of delivery – of the people, by the people, for the people… don’t like the people … “
You have to be alert with this lady; her sharp tongue comes like a blade from a scabbard.
And while times have changed, so much of politics is still the same.
Tannie Evita, she told us, is the new Chairperson of the Media Tribunal.
Why not, she explains, after all she had plenty of experience on the old Censorship Board.
She will be keeping a watchful eye on education, a subject close to her heart.
“Every child in South Africa needs to be able to read and write … not to ask questions, not to have opinions …” Ouch!
However, she says that she will ask questions – on behalf of all the journalists who will be too scared to do so once the Protection of State Information Bill takes effect.
Actually that’s reassuring. With Pieter-Dirk Uys’s clear eye and acerbic wit on hand, even politicians can’t sweep everything under the carpet.
“Obama tells his people, ‘You can’,” she says.
“Well, I’m here to tell the government, ‘No, you can’t!’.”
And if all else fails, there’s always that bowl of koeksusters.
Tannie Evita believes in koeksusters. “Take a bowl to your neighbours,” she says. “Sit down, eat, talk and get to know them.”
In her new role, she will be serving them to her colleagues – plus all the recipes from her latest best-selling cookbooks – but without too much sugar for the heavyweights.
That, of course, includes Julius Malema.
He’s definitely looking a bit chubby these days, although he’s unemployed (except in the show, of course).
Looking ahead… well, the Struggle is long over. This is the age of Twitter and Tannie Evita has 24 000 followers. You go, girl!
Otherwise, how is this for a vision? Evita suggests we put the crèches and orphanages in old age homes, then every child will have a tata and gogo and a lot of love.
She has a lot more to say, naturally, so catch her show, along with all the other men and women borne from Pieter-Dirk Uys’s imagination and this country’s reality.
A final word: Who will replace President Zuma? “Not me!” she says instantly. Pity.
Pieter-Dirk Uys in Adapt or Fly at the Joburg Theatre Fringe until April 29.