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Jetsetting with Janet: Pieter-Dirk Uys speaks of the quirky and creative town of Darling

todayAugust 26, 2022 191

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Janet Pillai, host of Jetsetting with Janet, speaks to four residents of Darling — a quirky town just inland from the West Coast — who are passionate about the arty and creative community they live in. 

Pieter-Dirk Uys, a well-known South African performer, author, satirist, and social activist,  stumbled upon the town as a result of a “wrong turn” in 1995. 

He was on his way to McGregor, but ended up in Darling, which ultimately changed the course of his life. 

“It chose me, Darling chose me.”

Soon after his arrival in the town, he bought a house and a car and established himself in the community. 

Pillai said his story is one of local economic development in a small town. 

“You invested in a home, you created a whole community of artists, you created a space where people could come and express themselves and the fact that it still stands today, reimagined, creatively revision is just a phenomenal success,” she said. 

Dianne Le Roux, Tourism Official in Darling, said that she has lived in the town for several years and she is still amazed by the creativity and the innovation of people who live here.  

“We love the fact that everybody’s welcome in Darling. Our community is built up of a whole lot of arty quirky, different people. And I think our tourism offerings that we have here shows that as well. We really do offer something different,” she said.  

Le Roux said that the town will be going into their busiest season of the year with the end of August and September being the Wildcoast Wildflower season.  

“Our wildflower shows will be held from the 16th-18th of September. It’s the first one in two years,” she said.  

Hentie van der Merwe, owner of restaurant Kossie Sikelela and Darling Sweets said he took inspiration for his restaurant from Tannie Evita’s cookbook  

“It’s really about interpreting those home recipes from our grandmothers and our mothers, and turning it into a fine dining kind of experience,” he said.  

Stephan Moser, owner of Darling Guest Lodge said when he and his partner arrived from Switzerland, they fell in love with the town and the people.  

“When we arrived 10 years ago, Darling just embraced us,” he said. 

As a Magic 828 Podcast Partner product, Jetsetting with Janet, is a weekly travel podcast show released every Friday that keeps you up to date, and informed of all the latest travel trends and topics.

Written by: Kelly-Jane Turner

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