In a first of its kind for Port Elizabeth, SABC2 commissioned a local company to produce an Afrikaans sitcom. The sitcom, called Kniediep in die Warm Water, was produced by Sunshine Coast Studios, based in Port Elizabeth. by Ntombesizwe Botha
The programme, produced by Danie Matthee, Colin Ward and Nicola Barbour, is based on a play written by Matthee nine years ago.
The show, with a cast and crew of 32 people, will air early next year.
Matthee said it was initially quite difficult to get the project off the ground as “there is a lack of trust within the film industry in Port Elizabeth”.
“I think there have been so many scams around PE, people coming from outside of the city trying to take advantage of PE artists and so forth.
“So people were a bit sceptical when we said we’re doing this in PE and of course the SABC hadn’t worked with us so they weren’t aware of what we were capable of.
“They are used to these types of things happening in Johannesburg or Cape Town. So yeah, they just had to trust us to do this here.”
Matthee said the most rewarding part of the production was to see his idea come to life.
Director David Lister, who has directed Leon Schuster films, said: “It was a great honour and privilege to work with this fantastic cast. I think a lot of people are going to be surprised when they watch the sitcom.
“I’m sure people will enjoy watching it.
“I’ve been here for a number of years and even though it is going to be a long and hard road, a lot more productions will hopefully stem from this one here in the Eastern Cape.”
Cast member Fiks Mahola, who plays salesman Andile, said he was grateful his home town had been chosen as the sitcom’s base.
Mahola, a former The Herald Citizen of the Year finalist for his charity work, said: “I’ve always maintained that there is no greater talent, which is raw and hungry [than in] Port Elizabeth.
“It was an honour and a privilege to have worked with all of the people behind this production. When I got the call asking if I’d like to be part of it, I was really humbled.”