Schlagwort-Archive: truth

Pieter-Dirk Uys – Comedian in interview

„Freedom of speech means we have the right to opinions“

(Editor/ Autor: Serge Aka)

Deutsche Interview-Zusammenfassung:

Als Frauen verkleidete Comedians, wie Hape Kerkeling in Deutschland, sind in fast allen westlich-orientierten Staaten vorzufinden; auch in Südafrika. Pieter-Dirk Uys ist am Kap dafür bekannt, dass er sich in die Rolle von impulsiven Damen begibt und mit Zynismus, Ironie und Provokation auf sein Gegenüber einwirkt. Insbesondere um seine Rolle als Evita Bezuidenhout/ Tannie Evita lieben ihn die Südafrikaner.  So stellte er einmal die These auf, dass Frauen zurück in die Küche müssten (siehe das unten abgebildete Video). Der in Kapstadt geborene Comedian kritisierte auf einer literarisch-künstlerischen Ebene das Apartheidregime und machte sich somit zum Gegner der weißen Minderheitsregierung.  Mit Mut und Ehrgeiz engagierte er sich als Evita immer wieder gegen die Apartheid, sodass er eines Tages sogar den  persönlichen Lob von Nelson Mandela erhielt. Mit Berlin verbindet Pieter-Dirk Uys viel Zuneigung, da ein Teil seiner Familie aus der Bundeshauptstadt stammt. Das Erlernen der deutschen Sprache, so verriet uns der Comedian während seines Berlin-Aufenthaltes exklusiv, wird angestrebt, um dessen Shows eines Tages auch in Deutsch anbieten zu können. Wir freuen uns, dass auch diese Person des öffentlichen Lebens den Fragen des Portals „SÜDAFRIKA – Land der Kontraste“ zur Verfügung stand.

© Pieter-Dirk Uys - South African comedian with German ties

© Pieter-Dirk Uys – South African comedian with German ties

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: We would like to welcome on „SÜDAFRIKA – Land der Kontraste“ the South African comedian Pieter-Dirk Uys. Mr. Uys, how did you get in comedy? Was it a dream of your childhood or the result of a challenge?

Answer: It was more a challenge to try and fight the fear of authorities and politics, apartheid. There were various ways to fight it and I just thought to fight it with humor might involve many people because a lot of politics was very stupid and needed to be pointed out.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: You are known as a satirist, who has the gift of gab. You love to play female Characters. Your performance is inspired by desperate first ladies. How do you choose them and what message do you want to communicate?

Answer: Well there are so many interesting women in politics, Margaret Thatcher, Angela Merkel,…I mean there is a sort of really they offer themselves as theatrical characters. I think in this case it is very interesting to look at women in politics, their strength in a world of men, how they use their body language, make-up, hair to get away I think they are very successful in politics and it is very theatrical, I think the audience finds it funny and interesting to see a man suddenly become a female character.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: With your character Evita Bezuidenhout you have criticized during Apartheid the racial segregation between white, black, colored and asiatic. How have the reactions of the government and the white public to your shows been?

Answer: You know the old days I was censored and there was a lot of police harassment to trouble which was expected. In the democracy we have freedom of speech, so within the framework of that I had a very successful career. There are some of the politicians that are uncomfortable with what I say, but that is ok I don´t mind, I don´t particularly want them to be a fan, I mean they give my material and in case they do like what I say they can resign.

Evita Bezuidenhout: „Women should be go back to the citchen“

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Don´t you fear for your life?

Answer: No no no, you know I keep on saying if you fear for anything, you can´t tell the truth. If I don´t tell the truth I am going to be fearful because a lie is serious, the truth is serious enough, you don´t have actually to lie more to make it entertain.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: In the past, you interviewed the most famous hero of South Africa, Nelson Mandela. He told to you following phrase: „You are one of my heroes“. Which feelings did you have at that time?

Answer: I mean first of all I am sitting in a character as Evita, and there is Nelson Mandela talking to Evita but saying to me you are one of my heroes, I think it was wonderful, it was such a great. The man´s humanity and its humor is extraordinary and I have been blessed with my friendship with him and it is something that changed my life.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: About this friendship, can we say that it is something you have been expecting before?

Answer: Well, for most of his life he was in jail and he was away, but he used to see my videos in prison, there used to show videos on robben island and so, I used to get messages from Winnie Mandela, from Nelson through Winnie. So I was looking forward to meeting him when he came out.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Mr. Uys, you know the public figure Desmond Tutu too. He is still condemning the Israeli occupation of Palestine as „Apartheid“. What is your opinion in this matter?

Answer: Freedom of speech means we have the right to opinions and I think he was right to talk about that aspect, he was very verbal during Apartheid about cultural boycott. I personally was not very convinced about cultural boycott during apartheid, because the culture that was not sent to South Africa was in fact the culture that would have destroyed Apartheid. I was glad that he brought it up, so that the companies of which ninety per cent were young black people had to think about that. How do they feel about going into a place where Palestinians are not allowed to go? But Desmond Tutu always leads in its criticisms and his prayers; he is a very special human being.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: What do you feel when you come to Berlin knowing that your mother is originating from this place? Do you have ties to Germany and German comedians or even a German part-identity?

Answer: I do not have ties to people here other than friends, but I feel very familiar here in Berlin. Having been here many times and doing show here makes me feel well, that is why I want to come and live here for a year and really learn the language, so that I can also perform in German language.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Which dreams would you still realize in your private and professional career?

Answer: One of my dreams is to establish my German language to the extent that I can also do a performance here. You know also the year use to have 365 days whereas my year has only two days, today and tomorrow. Today is the most important day and I do not want to look across tomorrow and ignore what today has to offer.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Does it mean you do not plan the future?

Answer: Of course I do plan years in advance but in pencil so that you can rub it out and write again. It is very important to plan but also very important to listen and to see how quickly things go. Look at Egypt, in a week has completely changed from one thing to another. It is very exciting.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: So you live the present?

Answer: Of course.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Pieter-Dirk Uys, South African Comedian, thank you very much for this interview!

History Documentary from South Africa

The real face of Apartheid

(Editor: Annalisa Wellhäuser)

The largest film festival in Germany, the „Berlinale„, has been attended by „SÜDAFRIKA – Land der Kontraste“, the German Gateway to South Africa. With thanks to the Berlinale section Generation, we have observed selected events and made a report. „History Uncut: Manenberg“ and „History Uncut: Crossroads“ – a documentary collection –  are focussing on South Africa during the apartheid.

Afravision (Brian Tilley, Laurence Dworkin): History Uncut

Co-curated by Darryl Els and Claus Löser

Sunday, 2/13/2010, Cinema Arsenal at Potsdamer Platz in Berlin

Episode 1: Crossroads

Switch off the lights, the movie starts, open your eyes: as if I had used a time-machine for a journey back into the past ,out of a sudden I find myself in May/June 1986 of the former Apartheid-State of South Africa. Place of the setting: „Crossroads„, an informal settlement for „ black„ South Africans ,important centre for movements of resistance; actually it was given the status of an „emergency camp„ and therefore being immune to the mass clearance of townships by the state. Of course the government was not pleased about this immunity…..So here I am….in the middle of a brutal battle between-well, one does not even know who belongs to which group, it is a chaos…People ,especially boys who are only teenagers are running from one site to the other…they are chasing each other….shooting….screams…wherever I look I see destroyed and burning houses of corrugated iron sheet…It is this group with the strips of white cloth, they are attacking us…it is the „Witdoeks„, our vigilance committee. Why are they doing that? It`s our own people! Where did they get the weapons from? We have to fight back…self-made arms out of wood, stones, gunpowder in plastic bottles, which are being thrown…on the street: two men on the floor…covered by blood all over… they are dead…. I see women sitting on the street corner with their babies and the things which they still managed to rescue from their homes…they are waiting for help….

© Scene from „Histroy Uncut: Manenberg“ (Source: Berlinale)

© Logo of film festival „Berlinale“ (Source: Wikimedia)

Cut- change of scene

Women standing with their babies at the entrance of the parliament of Cape Town. They are hopeless and are looking for help. „ We don`t know what you are talking about, we cannot do anything for you„, they get told in Afrikaans by a politician. As a symbol of protest the women start to feign crying and lay down their crying babies in front of the parliament.

According to the TRC, the Truth Reconciliation Commission of South Africa, South African police contributed weapons to and supported groups of „black„ South Africans like the ,,Witdoeks„, a vigilance committee in Crossroads, and thereby „used „ them in order to suppress movements of resistance during the time of Apartheid. Thus the government seeked their aim without being blamed for anything. In total 60.000 people became homeless and 60 people died.

Episode 2: Manenberg

It is September 1989, the election day of the tricameral parliament of South Africa. „white„ and limitedly „coloured„ and „indian´` South Africans are allowed to vote.

The „black„ population is excluded from the right to vote. In „Manenberg„ , a township for „coloured„ South Africans there are protests taking place. And me- I see, no, I experience closely what happens on that day in the streets of Manenberg: I am in a house and I am looking out of a window. The police pitches up out of nowhere and starts shooting randomly with rubber munition at the residents of the place. Yes, it even seems like they do so because they enjoy seeing other people suffering. The police men throw stones at the people, use tear gas and chase them into their houses with whips. The inhabitants ,especially young people, react by throwing stones as well and by building street barriers out of car wheels, litter, pieces of furniture and stones to which they set fire. It is a seesaw. The police arrives frequently and it results in a conflict: Shooting, screams….I`m afraid that they will discover me, but I`m lucky-they don`t.

Cut- Change of scene:

A boy is lieing half covered in a bed, his entire body is full bullet wounds caused by the rubber munition of the police. Another boy`s head is bandaged up and his nose is covered by plasters…A women expresses a direct appeal to the South African government, she claims a democratic, NON- racial discriminatorial electoral system.

These scenes were never shown on South African television; they are part of the archive`s material of the video collective Afravision, which contains the biggest documentation of video of the history of resistance. Afravision was founded by Brian Tilley, Laurence Dworkin und Mokoenyana Moletse in order to keep records of the numerous battles in South Africa in the 1980s .

An extraordinary and fascinating contribution to the Berlinale of 2010. Uncut and pure- this film shows simply the reality and truth-the tragic reality of the past South Africa. Such a close experience of history; it feels as if having been present at that time. It is unbelievable, because suddenly it is not a „story„ anymore that one happened to read in a „history book„ and that seems unreal and far away from oneself. Out of a sudden it is my own reality too. I`m part of it. After watching the film, I`m only left with one single thought dominating my mind: While I can return into my secure reality of the present Germany, this „ film„ did continue for the people in South Africa at that time. Those people, who I met just now, could not flee in contrary to me who just switches off the movie. For them it was a nightmare and they did not know if it would ever end. This is horrible.

The 2010sdafrika-editorial staff would like to thank to the team of Berlinale section Panorama for supporting our service.

Schriftsteller Roger Smith im Interview

Die Wahrnehmung des demokratischen Südafrikas aus der Sicht eines Bestseller-Autors

Bestseller-Autor Roger Smith

(Autor/ Editor: Ghassan Abid)

2010sdafrika-Redaktion: Südafrika ist jetzt eine Demokratie mit der Möglichkeit einer politischen Partizipation für alle Bevölkerungsgruppen. Welche sind die größten Herausforderungen, die diese Nation zu bewältigen hat?

Antwort: Die Apartheid endete Mitte der 90er Jahre und Südafrika wurde unter Nelson Mandela vom einstigen Paria der Weltgemeinschaft zum Liebling aller Nationen. Bedauerlicherweise platzte die Blase als Mandela abtrat.

Die Lücke zwischen Reich und Arm war niemals größer. Wir haben heute die höchste HIV/AIDS-Verbreitung weltweit und Kriminalität sowie Korruption haben die Apartheid als größtes gesellschaftliches Übel abgelöst. Südafrikas Spitzenpolizist [damit gemeint ist Jackie Selebi] – während seiner Verhaftung Police Commissioner und Präsident von Interpol gewesen – steht wegen kriminellen Geschäften und der Annahme von Bestechungsgeldern durch die Organisierte Kriminalität unter Anklage.

Die südafrikanischen Tötungsdeliktstatistiken sind erschreckend – eine von vier südafrikanischen Frauen wird im Laufe ihres Lebens vergewaltigt. Um die 1.500 Kinder sind letztes Jahr in Südafrika ermordet worden. Die meisten dieser Kinder wurden zudem sexuell missbraucht.

Südafrikaner haben eine Menge worauf sie stolz sein können und sollten sich trauen, die sozialen Übel in unserem Lande nicht zu ignorieren.

2010sdafrika-Redaktion: Ihr neues Buch „Wake Up Dead“ (zu Deutsch: Blutiges Erwachen) gibt eine atemraubende Wahrnehmung der südafrikanischen Gesellschaft wieder. Das deutsche Magazin FOCUS bezeichnete Ihr Roman als „blutiger Bilderrausch“.  Um was geht es in Ihrem Buch und in welchem Kontext steht es mit der Realität?

Antwort: Meine Bücher sind natürlich reine Fiktion, beschreiben jedoch sehr realistisch Südafrika und Kapstadt. Das ganze Kapstadt, nicht nur die touristischen Gegenden.

Roman "Blutiges Erwachen"

Die „Cape Flats“ – die Kehrseite einer Postkarte Kapstadts – handeln von gewalttätigen Orten, welche man außerhalb von Kriegsgebieten findet. Vor 40 Jahren  hatte die Apartheid jeden nicht weißer Hautfarbe in diesem windgepeitschten Hüttenlabyrinth und Streichholzschachtelhäuser abgeladen. Regiert von Drogenbossen und Verbrechern, haben diese Hütten die höchsten Vergewaltigungs- und Mordraten in Südafrika überhaupt und die Sexualdelikte gegenüber Kindern sind erschreckend.

Mein Partner – welcher in einem dieser Hütten aufgewachsen ist – berät missbrauchte Kinder und erzählt mir Geschichten, die mir Albträume bereiten. Wenn dies im Westen passieren würde, würde es zu einem Aufschrei kommen. Hier bringt es kaum Schlagzeilen.

All dies hat seinen Niederschlag in meinen Büchern gefunden.

2010sdafrika-Redaktion: Denken Sie, dass Südafrika in der Lage ist die Weltmeisterschaft 2010 abzuhalten und die Basissicherheit von einer halben Million Gäste – so die Erwartung des Gastgebers – zu gewährleisten?

Antwort: Die Weltmeisterschaft wird ein gewaltiger Auftrieb für Südafrika sowie für den afrikanischen Kontinent sein und ich prognostiziere einen großen Erfolg. Südafrika veranstaltete 1995 die Rugby-Weltmeisterschaft, 2003 die Cricket-Weltmeisterschaft sowie letztes Jahr den COSAFA Cup [ = regionale Fußballmeisterschaft]. Natürlich kommt keine dieser Veranstaltungen an die Bedeutung der FIFA-Weltmeisterschaft heran, aber was ich sehe ist, dass die Infrastruktur/ Kapazitäten vorhanden sind.

Ich denke nicht, dass die Besucher der Weltmeisterschaft in Gefahr sein werden. Denn die traurige Wahrheit ist, dass die meisten Opfer von Kriminalität und Gewalt in den Ghettos und in den ländlichen Regionen leben; weit weg von der Blase der privilegierten Touristen, in der sich diese selbst befinden, wenn sie Südafrika zu Besuch kommen.

2010sdafrika-Redaktion: Roger Smith, wir danken Ihnen für Ihre Sicht der Dinge!

—— Das Interview wurde in Englisch geführt und ist ins Deutsche übersetzt worden. Unten ist das Originalinterview ebenfalls abgebildet.


—> Blutiges Erwachen


The perception of South Africa by Roger Smith, South African bestseller author

(Editor: Ghassan Abid)

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: South Africa is now a democracy with political participation for all sections of the population. Which are the biggest national challenges?

Answer: Apartheid ended by the mid-nineties, and South Africa went from being pariah of the world to everybody’s darling under Nelson Mandela. Unfortunately, the bubble burst when Mandela moved on.

The gap between rich and poor has never been greater. We now have the highest incidence of HIV/ Aids statistics in the world, and crime and corruption has replaced apartheid as our number one social ill. South Africa’s top cop – still commissioner of police and head of Interpol at the time of his arrest – is on trial for racketeering and taking bribes from organized crime.

The South African homicide statistics are off the charts, and one in four South African women will be raped in her lifetime. Nearly 1 500 children were murdered in South Africa last year. Most of these children were also sexually violated.

South Africans have much to be proud of, be we dare not ignore the social ills in our country.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Your new book „Wake Up Dead“ (in German: Blutiges Erwachen) is reflecting a very breathtaking perception on the South African society. The German magazin FOCUS declared your novel as „bloody inebriation of images“ (in German: Blutiger Bilderrausch). What is your book talking about and in which context is it connected with the reality?

Answer: My books are fiction, of course, but they are a very realistic depiction of South Africa and Cape Town. All of Cape Town, not just the tourist spots.

Novel "Wake Up Dead"

The Cape Flats – the flipside of the Cape Town picture postcard – is about as violent a place as you’ll find outside of a war zone. Forty years ago, the apartheid government dumped anybody who wasn’t white out in this windswept maze of shacks and matchbox houses. Ruled by drug lords and gangsters, the Flats has the highest number of rapes and murders in South Africa, and sex crimes against children are off the charts.

My partner – who grew up out on the Flats – counsels abused children, and tells me stories that give me nightmares. If this was happening anywhere in the West there would be an outcry. Here it barely makes the newspapers.

All of this has found its way into my books.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Do you think South Africa is already poised for hosting the World Cup 2010 and to ensure the basically security of the estimated half million of guests?

Answer: The World Cup will be a huge boost for the country, and for the African continent, and I predict that it will be a great success. South Africa has hosted the 1995 Rugby World Cup, the 2003 Cricket World Cup, as well as the COSAFA Cup last year. Of course, none of these are on the scale of the FIFA World Cup, but from what I have seen, the infrastructure is in place.

I don’t think visitors to the World Cup will be in danger. The sad truth is that most victims of crime and violence live in the ghettoes and rural areas, far from the bubble of privilege tourists find themselves in when they visit South Africa.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Roger Smith, we would like to thank you for your personal view to this matter!


—> Wake Up Dead: A Thriller