Send in the Clowns

Don’t you love farce?
My fault I fear.
I thought that you’d want what I want.
Sorry, my dear.
But where are the clowns?
Quick, send in the clowns.

Don’t bother they are here.


Sometimes it is humour that is needed in tragic circumstances.  You have to laugh sometimes, it hurts so bad.

It is estimated that the country of South Africa has more people with AIDS/HIV virus than any other country.


Pieter-Dirk Uys lampooning Mbeki and Botha

Pieter-Dirk Uys, Performer Artisan, is well known in South Africa for using humour in highlighting Thabo Mbeki‘s AIDS denial and P.W. Botha‘s Apartheid racism.

Pieter-Dirk Uys (pron.: /ˈeɪs/; born 28 September 1945 in Cape Town) is a South African satirist, active as a performer, author, and social activist. Pieter-Dirk Uys was born, bred and, as he describes himself, “invented” in Cape Town, South Africa. He is a writer and an entertainer. He further notes more a reactor than actor, more famous as a Boer diva than a dramatist. [Wikipedia, revised]

Performers have the special ability, even among the Artisans, to delight those around them with their warmth, their good humor, and with their often extraordinary skills in music, comedy, and drama. Performers are smooth, talkative, and witty; they always seem to know the latest jokes and stories, and are quick with wisecracks and wordplay-nothing is so serious or sacred that it can’t be made fun of. [Please Understand Me II]

Artisans are the Temperament with a natural ability to excel in any of the arts, not only the fine arts such as painting and sculpting, or the performing arts such as music, theater, and dance, but also the athletic, military, political, mechanical, and industrial arts, as well as the “art of the deal” in business.

All Artisans share the following core characteristics:

  • Artisans tend to be fun-loving, optimistic, realistic, and focused on the here and now.
  • Artisans pride themselves on being unconventional, bold, and spontaneous.
  • Artisans make playful mates, creative parents, and troubleshooting leaders.
  • Artisans are excitable, trust their impulses, want to make a splash, seek stimulation, prize freedom, and dream of mastering action skills.

Pieter-Dirk Uys has a definite philosophy about his life, which has led to his pervasive and critical success. : 1) One must have the confidence to know that you can do it in spite of what other people say; 2) there is no overnight success; 3) read everything and use your imagination; 4) forget the word ‘career’, your life is your passion; 5) enjoy what you do! ; 6) remember to always to be your severest critic. Don’t be satisfied with success it’s only a stepping stone to the next challenge; 7) no one is as interested in your work as you are, so don’t depend on others to lead you; 8) take chances! Push the edges of the envelope out all the time. Experiment and always be brave, take risk; 9) the most important thing, discipline; 10) welcome competition, share success. Now go out there and enjoy life.

His plays have been performed all over Africa and overseas including the United States and Great Britain. His plays include: “Paradise is Closing Down”, “Panorama”, “God’s Forgotten”, “Beyond All Reason”, “Just Like Home” and scores more.  Among books published are his plays, as well as Evita Bezuidenhout’s biography: “A Part Hate A Part Love.” And “No One’s Died Laughing,” and “Evita Fungalore.”

He has written over thirty five plays, over fifteen books/plays published, over thirty- films/video’s, and made and hundreds of personal appearances throughout the world.

Uys is particularly well known for his character Evita Bezuidenhout (also known as Tannie Evita), a white Afrikaner socialite and self-proclaimed political activist. The character was inspired by Australian comedian Barry Humphries‘s character Dame Edna Everage. Evita is the former ambassadress of Bapetikosweti – a fictitious Bantustan or black homeland located outside her home in the affluent, formerly whites-only suburbs of Johannesburg. Evita Bezuidenhout is named in honour of Eva Perón. Under Apartheid, Uys used the medium of humour and stand-up comedy to criticize and expose the absurdity of the South African government’s racial policies. Much of his work was not censored, indicating a closet approval of his views by many members of the ruling party, who were not so bold as to openly admit mistakes and criticize the policies themselves. For many years, Uys lampooned the South African regime and its leaders, as well as the sometimes hypocritical attitudes of white liberals. One of his characters, a kugel (social climbing Jewish woman) once said: “There are two things wrong with South Africa: one’s apartheid and the other’s black people”. This was later erroneously attributed to Uys himself.

Following South Africa’s first non-racial elections in 1994, Uys starred in a TV series, Funigalore, in which Evita interviewed Nelson Mandela and other prominent politicians of the day. In the theater, Uys/Evita’s performances include You ANC Nothing Yet. He and his character are known for their tireless work in the frontline of HIV/AIDS activism and education. He is currently involved in teaching AIDS awareness to children and education in the use of condoms, traveling to schools all over South Africa. Uys also serves on the Board of Directors for the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation, a non-profit organisation founded to provide treatment for and conduct research relating to HIV. [Wikipedia, revised]

“We are using language to focus on the minefield of fear.  For God’s sake, use language because we can’t be polite, we don’t have the time to be polite.  We have to say that’s where the danger is…  It’s an entertainment:  meaning, kids have to laugh at their fear.  Some have AIDS or they have lost people.  I have to entertain them with death.  But I have to pay close attention, because if I bore them, they will start texting on their cell phones”.  — Pieter-Dirk Uys.

Other Performer Artisans include:  Jimmy ValvanoJanis JoplinGene KrupaLouis Armstrong,Alex KarrasKim Jong UnPhyllis DillerJim CramerMagic JohnsonJosephine BakerWhitney HoustonMarilyn MonroeMichael Jackson and Elvis Presley.

0 thoughts on “Send in the Clowns”

  1. What a great teacher, activist. Powerful. Artisan style. (I noticed the Barry Humphries similarity). Humphries does a great take of an old misogynistic ‘ocker’ Aussie bloke, I’d always thought it very close to bone. Mocking bigotry and hate is good, and they do it so well.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.