Wielie Walie

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.

Wielie Walie
Wielie Walie
Wielie Walie
Wielie Walie
Wielie Walie
Wielie Walie
Wielie Walie
Wielie Walie
Wielie Walie
Wielie Walie
Wielie Walie
Mol Majeur

Production summary: 

Premiere date:

5 January 1976

Channel:

SABC-TV; TV1

Language:

Afrikaans

Genre:

Children and youth; Puppets; Animation

Number of episodes:

>253

Production company:

SABC (1976-1994); Safritel (1994-1996)

Creator:

Louise Smit

Producers:

Louise Smit; Hannalie van der Merwe; Lorraine Joubert; Henning Paulsen; Iris Bester; Dalene Kotze; Paul Lombard

Title:

The title refers to a children's folk song

Cast and Crew: 

PresenterYear
Estelle Rossouw1976-1977
Elma Potgieter1977-1979
Magda van Biljon1979-1993
Gert van Tonder1976-1996
Johan Smit1994
Pieter van Tonder1995
Shemane Davids1995-1996

Voice artistCharacter
François StemmetSarel Seemonster, 1976
Hennie SmitKarel Kraai, 1976
Lochner de KockKarel Kraai, 1977
Verna VelsBennie Boekwurm, 1976-1996

Crew
Louise SmitProducer; Director, 1976-1979
Butch StoltzAnimation
Rod CampbellPuppets
Hannelie van der MerweProducer, 1979-?
Liesl DruryProducer, 1981-1983
Lorrainne JoubertProducer 1981-1986
Ria HumanProducer, 1982
Henning PaulsenProducer, 1985-1988
Iris BesterProducer, 1985-1988
Dalene KotzéProducer, 1986-1995

Theme song: 

Music and Lyrics: 

Theme song

The theme song of Wielie Walie is an instrumental version of the Afrikaans children's folk song, "Wielie Wielie Walie":

Wielie, wielie, walie
Die aap sit op die balie
Tjoef, tjaf
val hy af;
Tjoef, tjof
klim hy op!
Wielie, wielie walie.

From D.J. Opperman (compiler), Kleuterverseboek (Kaapstad, 1957), p. 17. 

 

Other songs

When it's story time, Bytjie (the little bee) blows on his trumpet. Then the Blommetjies (flowers) start singing their song to call Bennie Boekwurm:

Bytjie blaas en ons moet sing:
“Bennie, kan jy die storie bring?”
Kinders julle moet tog roep
anders hou hy aan met soek*.

When the big storybook is unlocked and opened, the Blommetjies (little flowers) sing:

Sleuteltjie, sleuteltjie op sag satyn,
laat daar 'n storie uit die boek verskyn.
Draai die slot;
die deur gaan oop! 
Sleuteltjie, sleuteltjie op sag satyn,
laat daar 'n storie uit die boek verskyn.

Awards: 

1976 Artes Awards

  • Award for best contribution in scenic services (Butch Stoltz, animation for several TV productions, including Wielie Walie)
  • Nomination for best contribution in scenic services (Rob Campbell, Wielie Walie puppets)  

1977 Artes Awards

  • Award for Best producer in any field other than drama (Louise Smit for Wielie Walie and Haas Das)

Sources: