Be ‘selfish’ with vote, Uys tells students

2014-04-09 00:00

SOUTH Africa’s most loveable satirist, Pieter-Dirk Uys (69), told young voters at the University of KwaZulu-Natal yesterday to be selfish with their vote on May 7.

“Everyone says you must vote for Mandela, vote for your country, but you must do it for yourself,” Uys said.

“Voting is the most selfish thing you are allowed to do.”

Uys received an honorary doctorate of literature at UKZN’s Westville campus for his creative contribution to social activism.

Uys said he never decided to comment on politics, it was just a way to irritate those in government.

“It was just the easiest way to irritate them and I got a way to do it that they couldn’t censor,” Uys said.

He said he still gets lots of material to work with from today’s politics and politicians. “Nkandla is a four-hour-long musical.”

In his acceptance speech in front of hundreds of students about to receive their degrees from the College of Humanities, he told them that when growing up, he wanted to be a train driver and an NG church dominee.

“The NG church dominees always got a car and a ticket to heaven, but I was wrong. You had to join the ANC to get a car and a ticket to heaven.”

Uys told the students that a teacher at school inspired him to do anything he wanted, as long as he believed in himself.

Cheryl Potgieter, UKZN’s deputy vice-chancellor and head of the College of Humanities, said Uys has an exceptional ability to combine the performing arts with social activism.

“He contributed a lot to democracy and UKZN has a long-standing relationship with him,” Potgieter said.

The university has housed the Pieter-Dirk Uys archival collection since 1994.

Uys said he is working on a new play and will continue to go to schools to inform children about HIV/Aids.

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