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Pieter-Dirk Uys

After the show Foreign Aids in Berlin 2006.
Born 1945
Cape Town, South Africa
Occupation Satirist, performer, author, social activist
Evita Bezuidenhout and Pieter-Dirk Uys on the cover of his book Elections & Erections.

Pieter-Dirk Uys (pronounced /ˈeɪs/ or "ace") is a South African satirist (born 1945 in Cape Town), active as a performer, author, and social activist. He is the son of a Calvinist Afrikaner father and Berlin-born Jewish mother and had an NG Kerk upbringing[1]. He began his dramatic career as a serious playwright, switching to one-man revues at the height of the Apartheid era.

Uys is particularly well known for his character Evita Bezuidenhout (also known as Tannie Evita), a white Afrikaner socialite and self-proclaimed political activist. The character was inspired by Australian comedian Barry Humphries's character Dame Edna Everage. Evita is the ambassadress of Bapetikosweti - a fictitious Bantustan or black homeland located outside her home in the affluent, formerly whites-only suburbs of Johannesburg. Evita Bezuidenhout is named in honour of the Argentine political figure and former First Lady, Eva (or Evita) Perón.

Under Apartheid, Uys used the medium of humour and stand-up comedy to criticize and expose the absurdity of the South African government's racial policies. Much of his work was not censored, indicating a closet approval of his views by many members of the ruling party, who were not so bold as to openly admit mistakes and criticize the policies themselves. For many years, Uys lampooned the South African regime and its leaders, as well as the sometimes hypocritical attitudes of white liberals. One of his characters, a kugel (social climbing Jewish woman) once said: "There are two things wrong with South Africa: one's apartheid and the other's black people".[2][3] This was later erroneously attributed to Uys himself.

Following South Africa's first non-racial elections in 1994, Uys starred in a TV series, Funigalore, in which Evita interviewed Nelson Mandela and other prominent politicians of the day. In the theater, Uys/Evita's performances include You ANC Nothing Yet. He and his character are known for their tireless work in the frontline of HIV/AIDS activism and education. He is currently involved in teaching AIDS awareness to children and education in the use of condoms, traveling to schools all over South Africa.

He has converted the old railway station of Darling, where he lives, into a cabaret venue called Evita se Perron (Perron is Afrikaans for station platform) and performs there regularly.


Awards and honours

  • Truth and Reconciliation Award in 2001
  • Mrs Evita Bezuidenhout was awarded the Living Legacy 2000 Award in San Diego USA.
  • Doctor honoris causa from
    • Rhodes University: D.Litt.Hon. in 1997
    • University of Cape Town: D.Litt for distinguished, socially-responsible creative work in 2003
    • University of the Western Cape: D.Edu.Hon. in 2003


  • Farce about Uys (Jonathan Ball and Ad. Donker Publishers, 1983) - ISBN 0-86850-077-1
  • Selle ou storie: A play (Donker, 1983) - ISBN 0-86852-027-6
  • Paradise Is Closing Down and Other Plays (Penguin Books Ltd, 1989) - ISBN 0-14-048228-8
  • Funigalore: Evita's Real-Life Adventures in Wonderland (The Penguin Group (SA) (Pty) Ltd) - ISBN 0-14-025313-0
  • The Essential Evita Bezuidenhout (The Essential Series) (David Philip Publishers) - ISBN 0-86486-349-7
  • A part hate a part love: The legend of Evita Bezuidenhout (Hond, 1994) - ISBN 1-874969-08-6
  • Trekking to Teema (Compress, 2001) - ISBN 1-919833-10-2
  • Farce about Uys (Jonathan Ball and Ad. Donker Publishers, 1983) - ISBN 0-86850-077-1
  • Elections & Erections: A Memoir of Fear and Fun (Zebra Press, 2003) - ISBN 1-86872-665-7


Darling! The Pieter–Dirk Uys Story a 2007 documentary by Julian Shaw (film maker)

External links


  1. ^ Jani Allan (1980s). Face Value. Longstreet.  
  2. ^
  3. ^


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Pieter-Dirk Uys (born in 1945) is a South African satirist.



Sunday Times interview (1980)

"I'm just the dumb blonde with the jewellery!" by Jani Allan, from the Just Jani column of the Sunday Times (1980), republished in Face Value by Jani Allan.
  • When I send up the verkramptes, I am always sending up the verkrampte ghosts in me. But I never poke fun at people - it's their ATTITUDES that I find funny. Some of them seem to have their scripts all mixed up.
  • Soon censorship will become a luxury of the past. When I recently spoke to an okie connected with the censor board about why 'Mad Max' wasn't banned, his reply was that the youth of today must get used to violence as that will soon be their way of life! It's a sobering thought.
  • I'm just the dumb blonde with the jewelery!

About Pieter-Dirk Uys

  • So talented he's enough to drive any aspiring writer to OD on Smarties - or at least encourage them to stick to writing out place-settings for dinner parties.

External links

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