The German Africa Award 2012 was awarded to Marlene le Roux and Pieter-Dirk Uys. The award ceremony was dedicated to art and equality and honoured the two South Africans for their fight against all forms of discrimination.
Marlene le Roux, born in the small town of Wellington in South Africa, is an exceptional personality who dedicates her life entirely to the fight against the unequal treatment of minorities. She owes her strong commitment to her own fate. At the age of three months, she contracted polio and is still physically impaired by it. Nevertheless, or perhaps because of her own experience, she is a dedicated defender of women rights, people with disabilities and the socially disadvantaged. As director of the Artscape Theatre Centre in Cape Town, she uses art and culture to give people self-confidence and strength to fight against inequality in everyday life.
The trained singer and music teacher supports various school programmes to promote new artists and organises the annual Artscape Womens’ Festival to encourage women to stand up for their rights. As an author, she tries to break firmly established stereotypes and has set strong accents in her work Look at me.
For her commitment and courage she has already received several awards in South Africa. In addition to the Desmond Tutu Legendary Award 2001 and the Mayor’s Medal 2011, she was named South Africa’s most influential woman in the field of art and culture in 2010.
Pieter-Dirk Uys, born 1945 in Cape Town, is a South African satirist, comedian and author. Better known as Evita Bezuidenhout, he is not only “South-Africa’s most popular white woman”, but has been one of the most important voices of humanity and humour in South Africa for decades.
The cabaret artist completed his film studies in London and from then on used his skills for a satirical fight against the apartheid regime. He became famous far beyond South Africa and used his popularity for an unprecedented campaign against HIV/AIDS in schools in South Africa.
The son of a Calvinist African and an escaped Jewish Berliner from a very conservative home shines in his roles as the old crocodile and does not shy away from parodying people like the Apartheid Prime Minister P.W. Botha, anti-apartheid hero Bishop Desmond Tutu or Nelson Mandela. However, he became famous for his role as white diva ambassador Evita Bezuidenhout. With humor as his weapon, he manages to reach young people in particular to take away their fear and fight apartheid and HIV. In 2000 he was honoured in the US with the Living Legacy Award and was appointed honorary doctor of the three largest universities in South Africa.
The Award was presented by former Federal President Prof Dr Horst Köhler.