Gregory Da Silva – The African Mad Hatter

Gregory Da Silva, better known as Egg Man, is an African comedian artist and storyteller famous for wearing an outrageous had adorned with 1,000 eggs.

Born in Benin, West Africa, Da Silva studied computer science but decided to follow his artistic calling and went on to found a theater group called Voice of Spirit. They performed political, comic and poetic theater shows in Benin, but he made a name for himself after he became the Egg Man and started giving street performances wearing his ridiculously large headgear. When he first started performing in Cape Town, South Africa, Gregory’s art was so unique it got him arrested by the local police, who had to call their superior for advice on what to do with him. They were told to let him go, and he’s been performing in the city’s Green Market Square ever since.

The Egg Man’s exotic hat always manages to turn heads. It’s hard not to stare at a man with a giant hat decorated with a 1,000 eggs and various African motifs. Each day his hat boasts a new feature, a symbol of African culture and history, but eggs are always there, as they are a symbol of life in African tradition and he says “”everything must be life, everything must shine, [and] be positive”. His unique hat weighs around 25 kilograms, and I can’t imagine it’s very easy to wear, but it has brought him international recognition and even a nomination for the 2011 Guinness Book of Records.

Unfortunately, the last few days haven’t been the best in the Egg Man’s career. During a visit to Halle, Germany, the performing artist passed out due to heatstroke and was rushed to the hospital. When he woke up the next morning he was feeling fine, but there was no sign of his famous hat. He’s desperate to recover it since it’s his whole way of life, and is confident honest German people will turn it in if they find it. I thought a 25-kg egg covered hat would be impossible to lose, but I guess I was wrong.


Photos via Egg Man Blog

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