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An opera about Winnie's life

2011-01-25 08:19
An opera? About Winnie's life? Ever since I heard about this new concept – this very brave, very strange, very ambitious, very eccentric concept - weeks ago, I have been intrigued. My mind has been spinning off on wild tangents. This project is even more intriguing than the concept of a play about the life of Steve Hofmeyr. Much more, in fact.

While a play about the life of Steve Hofmeyr was just plain boring and soon forgotten, an opera about Winnie's life could make all the tragedies of Mozart and the entire epic oeuvre of Shakespeare pale by comparison.

Such a work, if correctly executed, could scale hitherto unheard-of heights of pathos and plumb depths of despair never imagined before! By comparison, "The Lion King" would seem on a par with the stage production of Babalela.

If Winnie (forgive me for omitting all her surnames, but I have trouble spelling the long one) had committed grave crimes – and there are rumours, though not much conclusive evidence, that she has – one of the crimes she certainly has NOT committed was the crime of being boring and mundane.

Femme fatale

Wherever Winnie went in her long and illustrious career as an irritating femme fatale, controversy followed in her footsteps like Corgis follow the Queen of England (what a convoluted sentence that was; but is it possible to write about someone like Winnie and not use convoluted sentences?). More loved than Evita, more hated than Manto (rest her soul), more outspoken than Annelie Botes and more tasteless than Edith Venter, Winnie strutted fearlessly through our political landscape like a pitbull through a children's party.

She toed no party line, made no excuses, never showed any remorse, nor written any "come-clean" "spill-all-the-beans" autobiography like most other controversial public figures do when they run out of things to offend people with.

When, recently, she once more managed to get herself in the headlines with her 150 km-per-hour-driving-stunt, she once more enraged the collective South African sense of decency (contrary to all evidence to the contrary, we actually still have such a thing) by demanding an apology from the policeman who stopped her. The contempt poured on Winnie by ordinary South Africans was almost unanimous.

What better promotion for her coming opera could she have wished for? Because of that silly little stunt, she is once more a cutting edge South African villain. Was the whole thing perhaps orchestrated by the guys doing the opera?  I am sure we can expect some more Winnie outrages in the near future, as the pre-production publicity campaign heats up.

I have some advice to Winnie. There are bad things you have not yet done, which you should do as soon as possible! It would give the script writers of the opera so much more to work with!

(I)    Winnie, you should get caught doing drugs as soon as possible. If Paris Hilton can survive that rap, so can you.
(II)    Then, you can go to rehab. It did wonders for Lindsay Lohan's career!
(III)    Throw the editor of Die Huisgenoot with a cup of tea. (I know it’s been done before, but hell, it seems like fun, doesn't it).
(IV)    Kill someone (oh shit, I forgot about... No, never mind - trash that idea.)
(V)    Um… um…

Just give me time till the next column, and I'll give you some more ideas, Winnie. In the mean time, maybe you could get yourself a third surname, a really long one. Anything to take up even more space in the newspapers!


Read more on:    winnie mandela  |  koos kombuis  |  columnists

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