Evita gryp die voorlaaierEvita grabs her gun

Evita Bezuidenhout

Vyftien jaar gelede het dié oudambassadeur van Bapetikosweti sonder werk gesit. Haar tuisland het nie meer bestaan nie, haar drie kinders, Billie-Jeanne, De Kock en Izan, was uit die huis en haar man, oud-LP, Hasie Bezuidenhout, reeds afgetree.
“Ek was ’n legende sonder weerklank. Maar toe sê Nelson Mandela: ‘Evita, kom help my’. Toe neem ek sy kombuis oor. Ek kook vir hom en die honderde mense wat hom besoek.
Almal wou foto’s laat neem met Madiba sodat ons moes glo hulle is ook aanhangers van demokrasie en menseregte.
Groot demokrate soos Moeammar Ghaddafi, Fidel Castro, Jasser Arafat, Robert Mugabe,
George Bush, die Spice Girls – almal het gekom en ek het vir hulle bobotie voorgesit
en hulle het dit so geniet.
“Later is ek parlement toe om die kombuis daar te help om die nuwe ANC-regering voor te stel aan ware Afrikakos ná ’n leeftyd in ballingskap. Ek het net poetoepap by als gesit: saam met soesji, brood-en-botterpoeding en die Atkins-dieet. My resep vir bobotie word toe die resep vir toenadering. Ons het dit na al die probleemplekke gestuur: Noord-Ierland, Noord- en Suid-Korea, Tsjetsjnië. Ons het die resep gestuur na die Kongo se vredeskonferensie met ons minister van buitelandse sake, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma,
toe eet sy die resep …”
Maar Madiba het afgetree en al het Evita nog in die sosiale binnekringe beweeg, het sy gewag op iets. Op ’n volgende kans. En toe kom dit – onverwags – aan die einde van verlede jaar, en dié slag was dit haar eie inisiatief. Sy stig haar eie politieke party: die Evita’s People’s Party.
“Ek het geen ambisie in die politiek nie. Ek was al daar. Soos hulle sê, ek het die teehempie. Maar ’n jaar gelede sê my oudste kleinkind, Winnie-Jeanne Makoeloeli – en sy is net tien jaar oud, uit die bloute: ‘Gogo? Vukuzenzele!’ Ek sê toe: “Sies, wat is dit?” Toe verduidelik hierdie klein gogga in ’n paar sinne watter rigting ek met my lewe moet inslaan.
‘Gogo, dis Xhosa vir ‘staan op en doen iets’. ‘Moenie daar sit en kerm soos so baie ander nie. Staan op en wys na wat verkeerd is en maak dit reg. Vukuzenzele!’ “Toe dog ek, janee
wragtig, laat ek weer die voorlaaier en kappie gryp en my land beskerm. Om seker te maak dat ons demokrasie behoorlik bly werk omdat my kleinkinders en joune dit nodig het. Daarom Evita’s People’s Party.
“Dit is nie ’n party vir politici nie; dis vir die mense, the people. Staan op en doen iets. Soos Obama gesê het: ‘Yes we can,’ sê ek vir ons korrupte politici: ‘No you can’t!!’
En toe praat ek en Evita politiek …

Evita Bezuidenhout

Fifteen years ago this former ambassador of Bapetikosweti was without a job. Her homeland no longer existed, her three children – Billie-Jeanne, De Kock and Izan
– had flown the coop, and her husband, former MP Hasie Bezuidenhout, had already retired. “I was a legend without echo. But then Nelson Mandela said: ‘Evita, come help me’.
I took over his kitchen. I cooked for him and the hundreds of people who visited him. Everyone wanted to have their pictures taken with Madiba so that we would believe that they too were supporters of democracy and human rights. Prominent democrats like
Muammar Gaddafi, Fidel Castro, Yasser Arafat, Robert Mugabe, George Bush, The Spice Girls…everyone came and I fed them bobotie, and they so enjoyed it.
“Later I went to parliament to help out in the kitchen there and to introduce the new ANC government, after a lifetime in exile, to true African food. I just served everything
with putu pap: sushi, bread and butter pudding and the Atkins diet. My recipe for bobotie then became the recipe for closer relationships. We sent it to all the problem areas:
Northern Ireland, North and South Korea, Chechnya. We sent the recipe to the Congo’s peace conference with our Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, and
then she ate the recipe…” But Madiba retired and although Evita was still moving in the inner social circles, she was waiting for something; for another chance. And then it
came – unexpectedly – at the end of last year, and this time it was her own initiative. She established her own political party: the Evita’s People’s Party.
“I have no ambition in politics. Been there and, as they say, got the T-shirt. But a year ago my eldest grandchild, Winnie-Jeanne Makoeloeli – and she is only 10 years old – said out of the blue: ‘Gogo? Vukuzenzele!’” And I said: “Sies, wat is dit?” And then this little madam explained, in a few sentences, the direction my life should take. ‘Gogo, it’s Xhosa for ‘stand up and do something’. Don’t just sit there moping like so many others. Stand up and point to what is wrong and fix it. Vukuzenzele!’ “And I thought, indeed, let me grab my rifle and my bonnet and protect my country. To make sure that our democracy continues working properly, because my grandchildren and yours need it. And that’s why Evita’s People’s Party. “It’s not a party for politicians; it’s for the people. Stand up and do something. Just like Obama said: ‘Yes we can’, I say to our corrupt politicians: ‘No you can’t!’”
And then Evita and I talked politics.

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