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
Some of the programmes created and produced
Haas Das se Nuuskas (1976 —
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.
Wielie Wielie (1976 —
It was one of the longest running TV shows
in SA history.
Casimir (1979-1981) L‘ÎIe aux
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 -
‘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
Pumpkin Patch (1987 -
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
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
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
Professor Fossi en die Dinosourusse
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
Puppets: The Handspring Puppet
Mulwana la Mmutla
The adventures of a rabbit theatre owner
together with his friend, Moletsi Nakedi the skunk who plays piano.
The adventures of a little boy who lives
with his lovable grandparents.
Kideo is a joyful children’s programme
filled with fun. Louise received the Tokyo International Award and Prix de
Jeunesse Prize (Munich) for Kideo.
Pieriewieriepark - 26
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
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.
Ezimfijoli i Bhayibheli - Musical
instruments of the Bible (Zulu)