TV Programmes

Open the Door Conference

Open the Door Conference with Anne Wood of Teletubbies - Stratford-upon-Avon 1997

Thousands of people tuned in to South Africa’s first television broadcast on 5 January 1976 to see exactly what they had been missing for more than two decades. A year later more than 1.5 million viewers were tuning in every evening (the service was initially broadcast only 37 hours per week), according to South African historian Carin Bevan.

Many of these SABC shows held crossover appeal for children and adults. A number of these homegrown hits, such as Wielie Wielie Walie, Haas Das se Nuuskas, Pumpkin Patch, Kideo, Mina Moo and Professor Fossi en die Dinosaurusse were created by prolific writer Louise Smit. - The top 10 South African children’s TV shows from days gone by (The South African)

Some of the programmes created and produced by Louise

Haas Das se Nuuskas (1976 — 1980)

Haas Das se Nuuskas was the first programme ever screened on South African TV, and soon became its most popular show among both children and adults, to whom its social and political satire appealed.  The news-reading rabbit voiced by SABC legend Riaan Cruywagen also set a precedent for the wide use of puppets in SA children’s shows.

Has Das

Has Das

Koning Leeu

Wielie Wielie (1976 — 1996)

It was one of the longest running TV shows in SA history.

Karel Kraai

Bennie Boekwurm

Karel & Sarel

Karel & Sarel

Casimir (1979-1981) L‘ÎIe aux enfants

From October 6, 1979 to 1981 an Afrikaans version of L'Île aux enfants entitled Casimir was broadcast in South Africa, directed by Louise Smit and Dalene Kotzé, in co-production with the French production company Télécip and the South- African SABC.
The sets are slightly modified and actors from South Africa (Siegfried Mynhardt, Willie Esterhuizen, Annelize van der Ryst-Hattingh, Tarina Kleyn and Johan van der Merwe) play the roles of the characters.
In the midst of Apartheid, the programme showed only white children, which is why Louise Smit left the SABC. With the advent of TV2 and TV3 in 1982, however, black children also began to appear. - Wikipedia


Liewe Heksie (1978 - 1982)

‘They call her Liewie Heksie, but Levinia is her name…’ The well meaning but absent-minded little witch from the Afrikaans radio stories made her telly debut in September 1978 and soon became a big hit with children and their parents with her kind heart and knack for accidentally saving the day. Written and created by Verna Vels. First 26 episodes directed by Louise Smit.

Liewe Heksie

Liewe Heksie

Pumpkin Patch (1987 - 1991)

The Pumpkin Patch characters included Woofles the security dog, mayor Uncle Bill, teacher Laurel and puppets Speckles and Freckles.
It was one of the first productions on the (mainly white) TV1 channel to include a non-white actor (Uncle Bill).
According to SA comedian Martin Evans, Pumpkin Patch ‘seemed to defy the then government’s attitude to so many things’ — such as Apartheid and homophobia [...]. - The South African

Pumkin Patch

Pumkin Patch

Pumkin Patch

Mina Moo and Co / Mina Moo en Kie (1987 – 1991)

Mina Moo was sponsored by the Dairy Board and its message was to encourage children to drink milk. It had English, Afrikaans, Northern Sotho and Zulu versions. Mina Moo is a loveable cow who owns a dairy. The germs Bac and Teria (Bak en Terie) are her enemies.

Mina Moo Mina Moo
Mina Moo Mina Moo

Professor Fossi en die Dinosourusse (1989)

Paleontologist Professor Fossi (Fossilus) builds a time machine and together with twins Toutie and Ton visits DInosaurland in search of the third horn of the Triceratops.

 Puppets: The Handspring Puppet Company

Professor Fossi en die Dinosourusse

Professor Fossi en die Dinosourusse

Professor Fossi en die Dinosourusse

Mulwana la Mmutla (1980s)

The adventures of a rabbit theatre owner together with his friend, Moletsi Nakedi the skunk who plays piano.

Mulwana la Mmutla

Mulwana la Mmutla

Tumi (1980s)

The adventures of a little boy who lives with his lovable grandparents.

Tumi (1980s)

Kideo (1990s)

Kideo is a joyful children’s programme filled with fun. Louise received the Tokyo International Award and Prix de Jeunesse Prize (Munich) for Kideo.



Other programmes

  • Pieriewieriepark - 26 episodes.
  • Telesix - A magazine programme for pre school children (in English)
  • Ha re Bapaleng
  • Ziki Zikombot - A robot Ziki Zikombot and Professor Galaxy taking children on trips into space.
  • Kabarete Ya Poone - Cabaret of the Corncobs (in Sotho, SetTwana, Pedi, isiXhosa and isiZulu). They sing and dance indigenous songs.
  • Snap, Crackle and Pop - A series for Keloggs Corn Flakes.
  • Zap Mag - Magazine programme for teenagers. First programme in SA with teenage presenters (12-15 years). Presented by Gil Oved, Annebelle Schreuders, Anouschka Laloo, Vusi Twala and Brett Lotriet.
  • Takaneng - Presented by the young Basetsane Makgalemele. Programme for teenagers.
  • Eko-Boffins - Magazine programme for teenagers on nature conservation for M-Net.
    Presented by Tessa van Staden.
  • Masidale
  • The Golliwogs
  • Ezimfijoli i Bhayibheli - Musical instruments of the Bible (Zulu)
Latest books
Main Awards


South African Literary Awards (SALA) - Lifetime Achievement Award



Three Artes Awards for best Television programmes (equivalent of the Emmy) South African Broadcasting Corporation.

Unima Puppet Award for best contribution to puppetry in South Africa.

Prix de Jeunesse Award - Munich, 1996 for Kideo.

Tokyo International Award for innovation, Kideo.

Golden Plume Award for her contribution and excellence from the South African Broadcastng Corporation.

Two Star Tonight Awards - Star Tonight newspaper, for director of Liewe Heksie as well as director and creator of Wielie Walie and Haas Das.