Don't be a drag, just be a queen!

The queen of the pink village defines drag dressing

All kinds of sexual preferences are welcome in Cape Town. There’s been an eruption of sequins, glitter, tassels and beauty pageants. Local drag persona, Odidiva, is at the forefront of a gay community taking its entertainment seriously.

Odidi Mfenyana grew up in colourful Bo-Kaap and learnt Fame-style splits at the Waterfront Theatre School (he tells me he can still do them after a stretch). He’s also starred in 'that' sex education video with Nicky Greenwall.

"I couldn't do a show without singing Tina Turner's Proud Mary. My audience would simply lose their minds!"

Odidiva's vaudeville-style cabaret is highly entertaining and gets everybody up on their feet, clapping their hands and singing along. He's sung for crowds big and small, from camp Capetonian burger bar, Beefcakes, to 2 000 strong crowds in Perth, Australia. The latter was during a month-long, sell-out performance of The House of the Holy Afro. His comic social commentary and poetry recitals are politically and socially satirical. Often pushing the boundaries of what is acceptable to say about the society we live in.

“I love black divas. Whitney Houston can sing a cover so well that you'll forget anyone sang it before she did and I love to sing Aretha Franklin and Grace Jones," says Odidiva, "My best performance was a public service announcement against xenophobia and hate crimes in South Africa. I wore my mother's gold dress, from her wedding reception, and I sang Strange Fruit, lying across a piano. It was such a powerful song. I thought: 'I could actually die tomorrow, safe in the knowledge that I've actually done something for my world'."

"People just don't get it. How you look is the whole point!"

Drag is all about hair, eyelashes, makeup and, of course, a show-stopping dress. Odidiva's style is costume and character; full of movement, glitter and shine, and her tassel dresses and gold sequins go down a storm with Capetonian audiences.

It might surprise you that you don't have to be loud to pull drag fashion off. Odidiva's friend Rania Jordan (so named after Princess Rania of Jordan), is as quiet as Jessica rabbit, yet every bit as sensual. Odidiva advises drag queens to dress to suit their individual persona.

"I'm eclectic when it comes to fashion, but my staples are to have at least one long and one short dress. I love to dress like Tina Turner and shake my booty like Beyonce. Luiz Delaja recently designed an outfit with a corset and plenty of feathers—it looks like it’s straight out of Rio de Janeiro. It helps that he’s half Brazilian. My latest outfit is a 1940s, New Orleans-inspired dress, designed by Cronje van Zyl, with lace, gloves, a hat and it’s very low-cut. It's provocative.

"My ethnic wigs and cosmetics are from Jabula Wigs & Wefts in Golden Acre, my nails are by Clicks and my makeup is by MAC. Just remember, though, that a cheap eye shadow can pop just as much as an expensive one. I'm not going to disclose where I buy my Mavericks-inspired, leopard print, stripper shoes; otherwise there won't be any left for me!"

Odidi advises: "For God's sake, try and avoid bad wigs. There's nothing like a horrible nasty wig. Comb your wig out and wash your wig. Your audience won't tolerate dirty hair!"

You can catch Odidiva at Beefcakes and at the opening of new club, Bubbles, on 24th February. Odidi is organising a solo tour to Europe and The House of the Holy Afro will tour again this year. "Hopefully to Montreal. Please, Jesus. Please, Lord," pleads Odidi.

Story by Lisa Nevitt, photographs by Luigi Ceccon

---

Laugh at the Queen and at yourself at this hilarious Cape Town drag show.

Check out our 10 top gay hot spots in Cape Town, our overview of nightlife in De Waterkant and our review of Beefcakes.

Subscribe to our newsletter, follow us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Fri
H:17°
L:10°
Sat
H:16°
L:
Sun
H:18°
L:11°
Mon
H:21°
L:
Tue
H:18°
L:12°
Wed
H:16°
L:
Thu
H:15°
L:
cape point vineyard 3Enjoy an idyllic weekend walk at Cape ...

Get a 360-degree view of the mountain, the fynbos, the vineyards and the ocean

cape point vineyard 3Discover an idyllic vineyard walking ...

Explore the picturesque vineyard trail, and take home some award-winning wines

robin_hoodLunch is sorted at Robin Hood Burger ...

Robin Hood in Kloof Street has basket lunch deals every day

National Arts Festival 5Binge watch the virtual National Arts ...

You can still buy tickets until 16 July

secret forest cafe 7Enjoy coffee and pastries from a secret ...

Half the fun of the Secret Forest Café is finding it

kyle jardine_6Discover a new artist every month at ...

The Art is Art gallery is open with exciting new work from local artists

The grill father The Grillfather is back with a hearty ...

Enjoy their 2.8kg pure beef patty and backyard braai vibes

jordan winesDonate used clothing and indulge in a ...

Support Jordan Wine Estate’s 12th annual clothing drive and get a free coffee

TRIVIA

image description

WeatherGiveawaysTravel Tips