TV series, 1976-1996
Children’s series set in and around a playroom (the Speelkamer) inhabited by a colourful crowd of puppet characters. Sarel Seemonster was a rather dumb but lovable seamonster with a great love for stories – in fact, as he would often remind everybody, "Stories is my Leeeewe!" ("Stories are my liiiife"). His neighbour in the Speelkamer was Karel Kraai, a kind if know-it-all crow quite skilled in piano, guitar and film making. His films were educational shorts which taught the maats (friends) about everything from chickens to the cosmos.
The Wielie Walie speelkamer was never without a story, usually told by the scatterbrained bookwurm Bennie Boekwurm from a very large storybook with a very big key. Whenever it was storytime, Bennie had to be called from his underground home. This was not always an easy task, especially if he was asleep or immersed in a book. That’s when Bytjie (a bee) blew on his trumpet and the Blommetjies (flowers) sang to get his attention.
Other Wielie Walie friends were the three clownish socks, simply called Die Kouse (the Socks); friendly frog Petrus Padda and his pond-mate Eend (Duck); and a family of parrots, Die Gaaie. An early character was Mol Majeur, the conductor of the Wielie Walie orchestra. A human presenter was always at hand to keep the peace, sing a song and, on Bennie Boekwurm’s days off, to tell the story.
Wielie Walie was SABC’s flagship Afrikaans children’s television show for twenty years. When Wielie Walie ended in February 1996, it was the longest-running South African TV programme. A remake entitled Wielie Wielie Walie was released on DVD in 2009.
5 January 1976
Number of episodes:
SABC (1976-1994); Safritel (1994-1996)
Louise Smit; Hannalie van der Merwe; Lorraine Joubert; Henning Paulsen; Iris Bester; Dalene Kotze; Paul Lombard
The title refers to a children's folk song