Last week the delectable Stacey Norman (that was so a shout out) decided to take me to the little town of Darling just outside Cape Town to visit a little place called Evita se Perron. Most of you will be familiar with Darling because of it’s annual flower festival and the absolutely monster Rocking the Daisies weekend music and culture fest (keep your eye out for this year- we’ve got something large planned). However, this quaint little town is also host to one of South Africa’s most well known names- Tannie Evita Bezuidenhout.
After about an hour’s worth of driving you arrive in the picturesque town of Darling and immediately begin to relax, soaking in all of the chilled out vibes. Once you pull into the parking lot of Evita se Perron, you notice that the venue is infact the old Darling train station, which was once a busy centre for those coming out to the country to visit.
The best way to describe it is as- culturally kitch… like nothing else you’ve seen. There is a market outside in the tea garden, which is littered with artworks that reminded of all the things I like about growing up in South Africa in the 80’s. You really feel like you’re in the middle of a slice of old school SA- minus the nasty Apartheid. Cigarette butts are referred to as stompies and you can get a homemade koeksister with your tea.
There is a small market that exhibits some of the local artists and their work, should you feel the need to purchase something handmade. Included on the property is a museum that details all the work that Tannie Evita has done over the years and how angry the character made the rather the stuck up politicians over the years that she has been an outlet for the creative genius Pieter-Dirk Uys. It really was an interesting experience to go and see some of the old National Party propaganda that seemed all too similar to World War II German publications that forced ideologies of Race Superiority on the nation. Even hearing some of the old speeches of the old Ministers left me with the stark reminder of a country that may never have ended up where it is today- free and democratic.
The particular weekend when I went through was the Christmas in July celebration, meaning that for an afternoon I got to pretend that it was the end of the year and time for a hearty Christmas lunch. The menu was about as South African as you could get with a delicious bobotie and honey basted chicken that made my eyes water because it was so damn tasty.
The Evita show itself was an experience that I can recommend to all who live in/visit this amazing country. It is primarily a comedy, but there are a whole bunch of interesting facts and learnings that are shared by the “First Lady” of South Africa. Particularly intriguing are her musings about Nelson Mandela and his time in prison as well some of the leaders we have had at the helm of SA over the years. Like I said- well worth it.
So, if you have the chance- spend the time to go and check it out- it should be on everyone’s bucket list- BOOK EARLY though, it’s sold out every weekend.