Archived 2001 Articles about  Pieter-Dirk Uys

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Pieter Dirk-Uys presents: an Aids awareness talk

– Geraldine Eliot, Varsity News (UCT), 13 February 2001

IT IS hard to be funny about something like HIV/AIDS, but somehow our 'national treasure' (to quote Paul Boughey) got Jameson Hall sitting up, laughing and most importantly: thinking! Yes, kids, Tannie Evita is in town (all the way from Darling) and she has a new, controversial and highly relevant cause…

A very frank, yet thoroughly amusing and insightful Pieter Dirk-Uys regaled a packed Jammie Hall with stories of his first sexual experience (as he put it - 'SPLAT!'); how demonstrating putting a condom on a banana does NOT mean that to practice safe sex you put a condom on a banana; and how, just like apartheid was a debilitating and deadly disease — so is AIDS.

Yes, there was an appearance by Ms Bezuidenhout, who had a bit of a chat on her cell to Madiba; and there was of course the famed finger-waggling Meneer Botha; but best of all, there was Mr Dirk-Uys, who calmly addressed us, looking inconspicuous all in black, as equals. Not as children, but as students, as men and women, as the potential of our country. And this was obviously appreciated as it ended in a standing ovation.

I, personally, realised how little I have actually, SERIOUSLY thought about AIDS. Yes - you do give it the odd thought, but when has someone actually said to you: 'educate yourself - you have free will and the power of choice?' 'Know how to use a condom, know how you can catch the virus and don't ever, EVER think you are immune' - all in a way that you can relate to? The main message being driven home was that unlike the disease apartheid, AIDS is not selective. It is neither race nor gender specific. This is not to say that Dirk-Uys stood up and preached. Not at all. Using the best tool of all - humour - we were treated to a superb — and I hesitate to use the word — performance that really set minds (and perhaps pulses) racing.

As a free, touring performance it seems an immense pity that some narrow-minded parents are kicking up a fuss at schools such as Pinelands and Westerford, not to mention others, due to the rather risqué nature of the talk. I guess maybe that is why AIDS is spreading daily — we still have that ignorant apartheid mentality towards the unknown.

Congratulations and thanks to SHARP for organising probably the best thing to come out of O-Week.

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