The government won’t help us. Let’s get on with it! - Pieter-Dirk Uys
The government is letting artists down in South Africa, says veteran performer and satirist Pieter-Dirk Uys.
It is, however, nothing new and artists should try to get on with it despite the challenges they face.
Uys hopes artists are working at their craft, despite their struggles; the world is going to need live entertainment once the pandemic is over.
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.
Refilwe Moloto interviewed Uys.
This lockdown has now gone nearly 400 days…Pieter-Dirk Uys
I’ve been working… We have to eat, but we also have to create. I hope people are working at their crafts so that when the new normal happens we can jump onto that stage and work because what people will need is entertainment.Pieter-Dirk Uys
Arts doesn’t exist as a priority in this country. When Winnie Mandela became the Minister of Culture, she said, ‘What is that?’. I think she made a joke. And it is a joke.Pieter-Dirk Uys
An artist cannot sell his soul to a government, because then the government will own him or her. We have to be careful to not wait with an outstretched hand… Get on with your work… in spite of the fact that the government is not going to help us… Let’ get on with it!Pieter-Dirk Uys
If we do nothing, nothing happens. If you do something, anything is possible!Pieter-Dirk Uys
Listen to the interview in the audio below.
Source : Thomas Holder/EWN