The 11th season of @IdolsSA might feature a drag queen @ShenayOBrien !

Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

After reading this article in The Citizen, I knew I had to chat to my friend Shenay and hear all about the Idols experience! 1-shenay

Shenay, firstly thank you for making time for a Wench in your seriously busy schedule. Entering Idols Pop! It is fantastic that I can say ‘Hey I went to @Sterkinekor’s #girlfriendsgetaway with that girl and she was at my birthday party… and now she is winning golden tickets!’  

I am very proud of you for auditioning and facing the wrath of all who do not believe in fairies and glitter. I bet the other contestants were jealous of you rocking those killer heels!

I know that you love performing. Besides your talent, what do you hope to share with the greater public?

Shenay:  Being able to perform is such a blessing and a privilege and to share my talent with others – I couldn’t ask for anything more. But I want to show the public, that no matter how different you are, its more than okay, and just to be you IS enough! 🙂

When did you first put on a dress and feel the power of pouting lips? Was it frustrating or liberating?

Shenay: WOW, uhm … I think when I was still a in Primary School. I didn’t really understand “why I was different” and to be boxed and conditioned by society what THEY WANT you to be, and not what YOU WANT to be was extremely frustrating! But my first empowering moment came in 2009 – when someone approached me and said: “You have GUTS, and I admire you for that”. I was on cloud 9. It was then that I knew that I have the power to inspire others and to perform and enjoy what I do, whilst being able to help others is simply, remarkable! 🙂

A few quick questions just for fun!

1.    Song that cheers you right up?

Shenay: At the moment it has to be Ellie Goulding: Love me like you Do.

2.    Favourite movie and why?

Shenay: Saving Mr.Banks. Emma Thompson is phenomenal and again its the story of of hope , trust and taking risks!

3.    Mr Grey or Mr Darcy? Shenay: Neither! Haha Ooooohhhhhhh but definitely James Franco!

4.  Is there anything you would absolutely not eat?

Shenay: Mopanie Worms and Tripe!!

5. Do you share that feeling at the end of the day when you take your bra off and it is like “Sigh! Yes! Freedom!” … or is it just me?

Shenay: Oh YES! I think all woman do that at the end of the day, unless you are wearing Victoria Secret, then its a Hell-to-the-NO!!

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Wishing you enough for all those dreams to come true and as you always say “glitter kisses!

#Evita&Co @TannieEvita @EvitaSePerron by @shenayobrien cc @buzpr @EmperorsPalace

Dear friends and other interesting people,

I have invited the very talented, @shenayobrien to join the #JoziGem team. She has very kindly accepted my offer to write a guest blog about the show Evita & Co and meeting up with the first lady of fabulous, Evita Bezuidenhout.

I wish you enough,


shenay and evita

On Sunday 10 August 2014, I had the privilege of attending one of the most inspirational, thought-provoking shows I have ever seen, by none other than the First Lady of South Africa, Evita Bezuidenhout.

The atmosphere was electric as young and old waited to go in to the “Theatre of Marcellus” to experience the words of the woman who has changed the face of politics and social affairs forever.

The performance started with a video montage telling the story of Evita in her younger years. Interviews with her husband, children, various politicians and reporters sharing how Evita inspired them and others. In 2014 Evita Bezuidenhout turned 70. The video included birthday wishes from icons like Pik Botha, Arts Bishop Desmond Tutu, FW de Klerk and Nelson Mandela.  It is clear to see why she was, and still is, an integral part of our South African heritage.

Evita stepped on stage with  cheer and applaud from the audience. I am sure many others like myself couldn’t believe that she was standing in the flesh only a few meters away.

The show dealt with the controversy of Apartheid (that we still face today), safe sex, and Evita’s story how she endured and persevered in politics since the age of 22.  There were various character changes as Pieter Dirk-Uys portrayed some of the most loved and despised characters such as Evita’s maid Mrs. Peterson, the Sex-Guru, her sister Bambi Kellerlman (who in detail explained to us how to put on a condom with the help of her life-size “toys”) and former politicians FW de Klerk, John Vorster and Pik Botha.

Humour filled the auditorium, but a serious message was conveyed with all the laughter. We have to stand together as a nation. She referred to the younger generation “We have to look at children. Children don’t have a colour. Children are sweet and innocent, they are not racist”. We always have a CHOICE, be it Positive or Negative, but the Choice is ours, and we have to initiate that for the current generations and those to come.

As the show drew to a close, another video montage came up, as to give Pieter Dirk-Uys time to get back in to his beloved character. In this video it showed a much older Evita, with her most iconic photos and the inaugural of her own street the “Evita Bezuidenhout BLVD” in the town Darling where she is currently residing and running her Restaurant “Evita se Peron”. As she stepped back on stage, she thanked the audience and with a quirkiness said “I’m going up to the foyer, see you there and let’s take a selfie together”.

I had the honour of meeting this remarkable woman and upon taking our photo together she uttered the words “Jy lyk pragtig my skat”. I felt Loved, Accepted, Liberated and Free all at once. Truly one of the most treasured moments I will remember for a long time.




Shenay O’Brien is a young, energetic Actress, Singer, MC and Socialite. She has been in various magazines, television and theatre productions, and has now she has added Blogger to the list.  Talent, Brains and Beauty. Shenay is definitely one to keep your eye on!

Twitter: @shenayobrien  Facebook:

Shenay is also available for appearances at private functions, corporates etc.

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