Honouring daughter of District 6

Kewpie in her heyday.

They came in their hundreds on Heritage Day to honour Kewpie, a drag queen hailed as the “Daughter of District Six”.
Born Eugene Fritz, Kewpie was a famous hairdresser and drag entertainer in District Six from the 1950s to the 1980s.

She died in 2012, but her spirit lives on for those who marched from Trafalgar Park, in Zonnebloem, to the District Six Museum Homecoming Centre on Monday.

Many from Kewpie’s old neighbourhood and members of the Lesbian Gay Transgender Bisexual and Queer (LGBTQ) community were part of the march.

They passed the house in Osborne Street where Kewpie spent her earlier years before moving to Kensington in the early 1960s.
Kewpie’s sister, Ursula Hansby, said she was honoured by the outpouring of support and respect shown to her brother.

“I am very privileged and grateful to all of you that you supported Kewpie throughout the years and Kewpie’s legend can live on.”

There was a short drag show on the traffic island in Sir Lowry Road where Kewpie and her fellow drag artists once performed.
Moegamat Benjamin, a close friend of Kewpie’s who himself once went by the drag name of “Kafunta”, said they used to perform
and dance at the Ambassador Club in Sir Lowry Road.

“Kewpie was known as the ‘Daughter of District Six’, as she used to make the people laugh; she used to do cabaret; she always had a passion for people.”

They had thrown a party for Kewpie before cancer had taken her at the age of 71, he said.

An exhibition in honour of Kewpie, Kewpie: Daughter of District Six, is on at the District Six Museum Homecoming Centre, until January 18 next year.

District Six museum director, Bonita Bennet said, “Kewpie’s story and that of the community around her, which included those whose gender choices were not mainstream, tells a story of acceptance and embracing of differences, which is not without pain and struggle.”