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Pieter-Dirk Uys gets serious about money (‘Evita is my pension!’)

Comedian and political satirist Pieter Dirk Uys. Picture: Facebook

I never had money. I had a family that was not obsessed by money, but concerned – my father – about debts he had to pay back. His cousin was a Broederbonder who cheated him; horrible! My mother, a refugee from Germany, was incredibly generous.

Pieter-Dirk Uys

When I started working at the theatre, R20 a week at the Space Theatre… then when I did my first one-man show, suddenly overnight, I went from R20 a week to R15 000, in 1981! That was unbelievable! My father phoned me and said ‘Pietie come home’ because he threw me out. And my joy was to support him for the rest of his life.

Pieter-Dirk Uys

Evita is my pension! I used to have a retirement annuity thing, but I cashed it…

Pieter-Dirk Uys

Every week The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews a famous person about her or his attitude to money (hopes and fears, successes and failures, etc.) as part of his weekly “Make Money Mondays, Personal Edition” feature.

This week Whitfield interviewed social activist/satirist Pieter-Dirk Uys.

Uys was born in Cape Town on 28 September 1945 to Hannes Uys, his Afrikaner father, and Helga Bassel, his Berlin-born Jewish mother.

His family was religious (Dutch Reformed) and his mother strongly encouraged him to embrace the Afrikaner culture.

Uys is probably most well known for his character Evita Bezuidenhout (also known as Tannie Evita, Afrikaans for "Auntie Evita"), a white Afrikaner socialite and self-proclaimed political activist.

Uys made a name for himself under apartheid by using comedy to criticise and expose the absurdity of the South African government's racial policies.

He lives in Darling in the Western Cape, where he converted an old railway station into a cabaret venue called “Evita se Perron” where he performs regularly.

  • But what is it that Uys believes about money?

  • Does it keep him up at night?

  • Does he spend like crazy, or save compulsively?

  • How did his childhood experiences shape his views on money?

Listen to the interview in the audio below (and/or scroll down for more quotes from it).

Darling is English for 'skattie'! The longest street in Darling is called Evita Bezuidenhout Boulevard!

Pieter-Dirk Uys

‘Easy’ in my job is very dangerous… Jacob Zuma was easy to do… I do PW Botha doing his impersonation of Jacob Zuma… I do Piet Koornhof… My audience ‘kotses’ [pukes] on the spot…

Pieter-Dirk Uys

The apartheid government said ‘Jy mag nie! Jy mag nie!’ and they banned all my plays…

Pieter-Dirk Uys

Most of my work is anchored in fury… I feel so helpless… the only alternative is humour…

Pieter-Dirk Uys

If people don’t turn up I will stop doing that [theatre]…

Pieter-Dirk Uys

Money can make dreams come true.

Pieter-Dirk Uys

The more money you have the more you have to concentrate to protect it.

Pieter-Dirk Uys

Mad is good! When people say ‘you’re mad’, I know I’m on the right track.

Pieter-Dirk Uys

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This article first appeared on 702 : Pieter-Dirk Uys gets serious about money (‘Evita is my pension!’)


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