She does not really know if she was accidentally named after her home town, but Perlé van Schalkwyk knew from childhood that she wanted diamonds and pearls in her future.
Now much better known as GiGi, she is surely the most successful stripper to date in South Africa, building a lucrative business empire.
She has just published her autobiography, aptly titled GiGi: Nipple Caps & G-Strings. And the first chapter tells of growing up in Paarl.
Van Schalkwyk was born at Paarl Hospital in 1967, one of three daughters to devout Jehovah’s Witness parents, a strange belief in the then very Afrikaans and Dutch Reformed Church town of Paarl in the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s. Her father, Pieter Willem, was a music lecturer at the then Paarl Teachers College.
In Nipple Caps & G-Strings, Van Schalkwyk remembers her carefree childhood in Paarl Valley – swimming in the Berg River, picking mushrooms, picnicking on Paarlberg and slyly stealing grapes in the town vineyards.
But, she says, she never really fitted into the community because of her family’s faith.
Van Schalkwyk attended school at WA Joubert Primary School, after which she went to High School Gimnasium. She remembers being in Grade 10 (Std 8) when Balie Swart, Kobus Wiese and Kobus Burger were in matric, and how shy she was of these “substantial” young men when she had to walk past them in the school corridor.
As a young girl she once sneaked a peak of the diamond-clad Glenda Kemp (then a well-known stripper who was always accompanied by her python) on the back page of the Rapport, and this fascinated her. Little did she know that one day she would become one of South Africa’s most successful strippers and the owner of The Lollipop Lounge, probably the country’s most celebrated erotic club.
After school she went to study drama at Stellenbosch University, but quickly realised acting would not buy her that house on the hill. But if she seductively took off her clothes it could earn her a very good living.
And so GiGi was born. For years, she danced the Hillbrow strip club scene and crossed paths with characters from the underworld, such as Lolly Jackson.
Nipple Caps & G-Strings is riddled with stories of drugs, perversion, murder and porn, telling a very fascinating story of a Paarl village girl to that of a woman who tackled an often “dangerous” male-dominated world, which she conquered with courage and strategy.
One Paarl Post reader can win a copy of Gigi: Nipple Caps & G-Strings. Whatsapp the answer to the following question, along with your name to 066 484 3728: Where was GiGi born?
Stuur jou mening van 300 woorde of minder na MyStem@netwerk24.com en ons sal dit vir publikasie oorweeg. Onthou om jou naam en van, ‘n kop-en-skouers foto en jou dorp of stad in te sluit.
Netwerk24 ondersteun ’n intelligente, oop gesprek en waardeer sinvolle bydraes deur ons lesers. Lewer hier kommentaar wat relevant is tot die onderwerp van die artikel. Jou mening is vir ons belangrik en kan verdere menings of ondersoeke stimuleer. Geldige kritiek en meningsverskille is aanvaarbaar, maar dit is nie 'n platform vir haatspraak of persoonlike aanvalle nie. Kommentaar wat irrelevant, onnodig aggressief of beledigend is, sal verwyder word. Lees ons volledige kommentaarbeleid
Hanlie Retief is 'n bekroonde skrywer en aanbieder van 'n Halfuur met Hanlie op Via.
Waldimar Pelser is redakteur van Rapport en aanbieder van 'In Gesprek' op kykNET.
Blouwillem is 'n voorheen bevoordeelde, tans geseënde middeljarige man.
Murray La Vita is 'n bekroonde rubriekskrywer en profielskrywer vir Netwerk24.
Henry Jeffreys is 'n politieke kommentator en voormalige redakteur van Die Burger.
Johann Maarman is eindredakteur by Die Burger en 'n bekroonde rubriekskrywer.
Nathan Trantraal is 'n strokiesprentkunstenaar en digter van Kaapstad.
Leopold Scholtz is 'n vryskutjoernalis en politieke kommentator.
Barnard Beukman is die redakteur van Beeld.
Gert Coetzee is redakteur van Volksblad.
Herman Lategan is 'n skrywer wie se rubrieke in 'Binnekring van Spookasems' gebundel is.
Sonja Loots is 'n dosent aan die Universiteit van Kaapstad en bekroonde outeur.
Sarel van der Walt is 'n joernalis vir Netwerk24 en 'n voormalige Londen-korrespondent vir Media24.
Charles Smith is Netwerk24 se nuusredakteur in Bloemfontein.
Hallo, jy moet ingeteken wees of registreer om artikels te lees.