Get ready, SA: Tannie Evita is back!

27 January 2014

Pieter-Dirk Uys’s lovable Tannie Evita makes her return to the small screen with a satirical talk show. The darling of entertainment brings her brand of humour to the political sphere with a show called Cooksisters.

Pieter-Dirk Uys’s lovable Tannie Evita makes her return to the small screen with a satirical talk show. The darling of entertainment brings her brand of humour to the political sphere with a show called Cooksisters.

It will run during the first half of the year as a run-up to the elections. It’s a voter education campaign and will feature several strong and dynamic women in politics. There’s no word on an exact screen date or channel but it will be an SABC show.

We had a quick catch-up with the funnyman.

Tell us about your return to television

Lots of people have said it’s been a hiatus since I did Funigalore in 1994 but I had several shows in between. I’ve done voter education shows since 1999, where I went on the road for six weeks. This show is my way of looking ahead at 2014 and using humour and great interviews to highlight a very important time in the South African calendar.

Why is it called Cooksisters?

Well because we’re just inviting the women over for a chat and a meal. Otherwise I’d have to call it Braaiboeties! LOL. I think we have some phenomenal women in this country and we have a wonderful range of them in mind for the show.

Your new stage show Adapt or Fly has received rave reviews. Your thoughts?

It’s been a wonderful 30-year journey for me. In the early 1980s I had a one man show called Adapt or Dye – a title that was unintentionally given to me by PW Botha.He was quoted as saying “Adapt or die” on the news and so I used it for my show.

Now, 20 years on in our democracy, in a conversation with one of the members of the ANC Youth League said South Africans need to adapt or fly. And I think that was just so befitting. And this year we have our young voters, our born-frees who are about to vote. You’ve had the privilege of interviewing so many fantastic people. What’s been your highlight? Of course my best was Tata Madiba – the most famous man in the world. I first interviewed him in 1994. And now 20 years later – it’s his legacy that remains and the huge impact and change he had on South Africa.

I think we’ve really taken ownership of our country since those days and we’re not just waiting for government to do things for us.

And every single time I’m on stage is a highlight for me. Knowing I have this audience who’ve come to the theatre to see me. I can’t choose my absolute favourites, because that would be like a parent choosing their favourite child.

What’s been your greatest life lesson?

The only lesson would be that you have to work hard to make things happen.

Do you think South Africans have the ability to laugh at themselves?

Yes, for sure! We have a great capacity to laugh at ourselves. How would jokes about politics and the president be tolerated? In fact, what many don’t know is that our president Jacob Zuma makes some wonderful jokes himself! I think there’s a different between comedy and humour. Comedy is all about the joke and humour is how we laugh at our fears and make them less fearful.

What would you like your epitaph to read?

“At least he had nice legs!” (LOL)

- GILDA NARSIMDAS

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