Liewe Heksie

TV series, 1978-1982

Children's puppet series about the residents of Blommeland ("flower land"). The main character is  Blommeland's witch, Levinia. Liewe Heksie, as her friends call her, is not a typical witch. She is kind-hearted, not very bright and she can't really do magic. She has a penchant for getting her and her friends into trouble - and then, most of the time quite by accident, to get them out again. Heksie does have one magic trick up her sleeve: She has a magic horse, Griet, which appears whenever she says his name. Unfortunately she can never remember his name, and only ever conjures him up by accident.

Her best friends are Blommie Kabouter ("kabouter" means "pixie"), her little cat Mattewis, and Karel Kat, the stylish city cat. Karel has a fancy car and a helicopter, and it's not unusual for this wise and smart cat to help Liewe Heksie out of trouble. She also loves playing with Klein Kwaaitjie Kabouter, the baby brother of the rather bad-tempered Kwaaitjie Kabouter. The king of Blommeland is the strict but kind Koning Rosekrans ("King Rose Garland"). Most of the time he tolerates Heksie's antics, although he does at times lose patience with her inability to do magic and her habit of getting his name wrong.

Blommeland's floral beauty comes from the magic Silwerroos ("silver rose"), a treasure that they guard very closely. This is not always an easy task, as the Silwerroos is coveted by the Gifappeltjies ("Little Bitter-Apples") from Gifappeltjieland. They want it to brighten up their own drab and lifeless land. They always send Kerrie and Borrie ("Curry" and "Turmeric") to steal the rose, and sometimes they're accompanied by their evil witch, the Geelheks ("Yellow Witch"), whom Heksie calls "Ou Perse" ("Old Purple One"). 

The Liewe Heksie stories began as radio stories, written and read by Verna Vels, in 1961. The radio stories were followed by books and stories on vinyl record. By the time Liewe Heksie appeared on television, she and her friends were already a much loved part of Afrikaans culture. The TV-stories were followed by books, toys (including a Liewe Heksie board game), stage performances, story tapes and CDs and more.

Liewe Heksie
Blommie Kabouter
Blommie Kabouter goes fishing
Blommie Kabouter's house
Liewe Heksie goes camping
Liewe Heksie's kitchen
Liewe Heksie and the cuckoo
Liewe Heksie's car

Production summary: 

Premiere date:

5 September 1978

Channel:

SABC TV; TV1

Language:

Afrikaans

Genre:

Children's television; Puppets

Number of series:

2

Number of episodes:

52

Production company:

SABC

Directors:

Louise Smit; Dalene Kotzé

Writer:

Verna Vels

Based on:

Radio stories by Verna Vels

Translation of title:

"Little Hexi" (official translation); "Dear little witch" (meaning)

Cast and Crew: 

Voice artistCharacter
Verna VelsLiewe Heksie; Blommie Kabouter; Matewis
Riaan CruywagenKoning Rosekrans; Kerrie; Borrie (series 1)
Leon van NieropKoning Rosekrans (series 2)
Monica BreedKwaaitjie Kabouter; Mevrou Duif
Mike HeineGriet
Roelf JacobsKarel Kat
Estelle ZeemanFeëkoningin
Annemarie MullerGeelheks

Crew 
Verna VelsWriter; Theme song
Louise SmitDirector (series 1)
Dalene KotzéDirector (series 2)
Rod CampbellPuppets; Mechanical controls
Mike OlivierSet building; Mechanical controls
Rónell BothaPuppets; Costumes; Set design and building; Title sequence
Val RoweSet design and building

Theme song: 

Music and Lyrics: 

Theme song

The theme song was written by Verna Vels and performed by a children's choir and Verna Vels as Liewe Heksie.

Opening song:

Hulle noem haar Liewe Heksie,
maar Levinia is haar naam.
Sy kan nie eintlik toor nie
en sy is 'n bietjie skaam.

Blommie is haar maatjie
en Mattewissie, haar kat.
Vergeet tog nie van Karel Kat
Kom kuier in Blommeland.

Closing song:

Hier woon Liewe Heksie
en so lyk haar huis
waar al haar vriende saamwoon
in haar sterretjieskombuis.

Hulle noem my Liewe Heksie,
maar Levinia is my naam.
Ek's die slimste heksie wat ek ken
en ek was al op die maan.

Nou ken ons Liewe Heksie
en kan haar nooit vergeet.
Kom kyk weer na ons storie
as julle nog wil weet.

Other songs

A more complete version of the Liewe Heksie song was sung by Carike Keuzenkamp and Verna Vels as Liewe Heksie.

Wie is Liewe Heksie
wie wil nog graag weet?
Luister na haar liedjie, 
dan sal jul nie vergeet.

Hulle noem my Liewe Heksie,
maar Levinia is my naam
ek's die slimste heksie wat ek ken
en ek was al op die maan.

Mattewis is my maatjie
hy's die mooiste baba-kat.
Ek weet nie wat hy sê nie,
maar hy's 'n liewe skat!

Waar woon Liewe Heksie,
en hoe lyk haar huis
waar al haar vriende saamwoon
in haar sterretjieskombuis?

Ek en Blommie Kabouter
woon in Blommeland, so mooi.
As 'n Gifappel die Silwerroos wil vat,
word hy in die tronk gegooi.

Ons het 'n vriend so deftig
wat kom kuier uit die stad
hy't 'n keil en 'n helikopter
en sy naam is Karel Kat.

Ons het 'n gawe koning, 
al kan hy vir ons brom.
Sy naam is Koning Rosekrans
en ons is lief vir hom.

Nou ken jul Liewe Heksie -
die wat graat wou weet -
jul ken nou ook haar liedjie
en sal dit nie vergeet.

Episodes: 

Series 1

Episode 1: "Liewe Heksie en die Silwerroos"
Original air date: 5 September 1978

The Gifappeltjies are up to their old tricks again: they’re trying to steal the Silwerroos. Koning Rosekrans orders Liewe Heksie and Blommie Kabouter to stand guard, but then Blommie falls asleep on duty.

Episode 2: "Liewe Heksie se Sterretjieskombuis"
Original air date: 12 September 1978

Liewe Heksie wants to paint her kitchen roof in honour of the Feëkoningin's visit to Blommeland. She rolls off the rock that holds the roof in place, and the wind blows the roof away. Then the fairy queen arrives and despite the hole in her kitchen, Heksie receives her kindly. The fairy queen is so grateful that she gives Heksie a gift: a little glass roof for her kitchen. Heksie and Mattewis can now watch the stars at night, and Heksie dubs it her “sterretjieskombuis” – her starry kitchen.

Episode 3: "Liewe Heksie en die Koekoekie"
Original air date: 19 September 1978

Liewe Heksie plans to build a cuckoo clock from wooden planks and nails - all she needs is the little cuckoo. One day, while she and Blommie go fishing, a little dove falls into the river. Heksie wants to put the baby dove in her cuckoo clock, but mrs. Dove is so sad about her missing baby that Heksie gives the little dove back. In return, mrs. Dove gives Liewe Heksie a gift: a real cuckoo clock!

Episode 4: "Liewe Heksie en die Tent"
Original air date: 26 September 1978

Liewe Heksie makes herself a tent with a blanket and broom stick and goes camping. Her trip turns into an adventure when the Gifappeltjies try to steal the Silwerroos.

Episode 5: "Hoe Mattewis by Heksie kom Woon het"
Original air date: 3 October 1978

Blommeland is plagued by mice. Koning Rosekrans is at his wit’s end and orders Heksie, Blommeland’s only witch, to use her magic to make them go away. If the mice aren’t gone in five days, he’ll banish her from Blommeland. Poor Heksie can’t really do magic and things look very bleak. But then, on the fourth day, Karel Kat comes to visit with a gift for Heksie: a small cat called Mattewis.

Series 2

Episode 1: "Liewe Heksie en die Orkes"
Original air date: 17 November 1981 

Blommeland is holding a concert in the Feëkoningin’s honour. Liewe Heksie is also playing in the orchestra – but it’s not as easy as she thought.

Episode 2: "Liewe Heksie en die Beer"
Original air date: 24 November 1981

After hearing the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Heksie is convinced that Blommie’s new pet puppy is a bear.

Episode 3: "Liewe Heksie en die Pampoene"
Original air date: 1 December 1981

Klein Kwaaitjie helps Heksie to wash her skylight. But then she knocks over the ladder and they’re stuck on the roof – for the night! During the night she wakes up and spots the Gifappeltjies trying to steal her cuckoo clock. Not only that, they have just stolen the Silwerroos as well. With Kwaaitjie’s help she saves the day.

Episode 4: "Liewe Heksie en die Dolfyn"
Original air date: 8 December 1981 

Because she’s sunk the king’s yacht before, Heksie is not allowed to sail with them again.

Episode 5: "Liewe Heksie die Aktrise"
Original air date: 15 December 1981

The pixies are putting up a performance of Cinderella for the king’s birthday. Blommie helps Heksie with her lines, but on the night of the concert she can’t remember a thing and chaos ensues.

Sources: 

  • Wilma de Bruin, Hier kom Liewe Heksie. Die Burger: By, 2 September 1978, p.1.
  • Anonym, 'Toe' Heksie laat kleuters hop-hop. Die Burger, 6 September 1978, p.2.
  • Wilhelm Grütter, Liewe Heksie vs. Haas Das. Die Burger: By, 9 September 1978, p.5.
  • Letter from Ronell Botha to Dr J.H.T. Schutter, Director-General of the SABC, "Klagte oor die Ontwerp van Liewe Heksie", 24 April 1979.
  • Images from Verna Vels, Liewe Heksie en die tent (Human & Rousseau, 1978); Verna Vels, Liewe Heksie en die Koekoekie (Human & Rousseau, 1978); Verna Vels, Liewe Heksie maak 'n Plan (Human & Rousseau, 1981).
  • Susan Groenewald, Wat maak Liewe Heksie by die See. Radio en TV Dagboek, 7-13 December 1981, pp.22-24.

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