Cape Doctor blows into town
New Afrikaans soapie ‘Suidooster’ gives a fresh breath of life to the flavours of the Cape Flats
WHAT stands the new Cape Town- based soapie Suidooster in good stead is the cast of prominent local actors including Denise Newman, Abduraghmaan Adams and Cedwyn Joel, along with some attractive newcomers.
The series premieres on Monday on kykNET and kykNET & kie at 6pm, with a repeat broadcast on the latter at 8pm, and will air three nights a week from Monday to Wednesday.
The show, produced by Gambit Films, was shot in a studio near the city.
Gambit previously made the short film Nommer 37, starring Irshaad Ally who also stars in this new production.
Suidooster is set in the fictitious suburb of Ruiterbosch and centres around the customers and staff of a shopping centre named Suidooster.
There are three families: the wealthy Octobers, the Samsodiens who own the mall’s pharmacy and the Du Plooys.
This week, The Good Weekend visited the set and met Newman and Ally.
Ally is probably best known for playing the gangster Gasant in the popular film Four Corners.
His Suidooster character, Rhafiek Samsodien, is a stark contrast: an upstanding citizen who loves his parents and is an observant Muslim.
Since Four Corners, changed for Ally.
“It’s been crazy. People come up to me and think I am a gangster, I was never left alone… Rhafiek is Muslim, he’s a character in a positive light. He wears a suit, he does the right thing, he has a moral compass but there is a lot of drama coming. I am a Muslim boy, I know what Tramakasee is ( colloquial Cape Town speak for “Thank you”). This is something close to home,” he says.
This is something that Ally is particularly happy about, the Cape Afrikaans flavour of the script.
“I thank kykNET for doing this the way we speak Afrikaans. It’s all about context: like saying ‘ shukran’ for ‘thank you’.”
Ally takes us further into his character: “Rhafiek is 26 years old and has a twin in London. His dad is a pharmacist, his mum makes and fries samoosas.
“It’s very Cape Flats. He has a strong relationship with his mum and dad. Hard work comes first and the last thing he wants to do is upset his dad.” He hints that a love triangle is on the way.
Ally is settling into soapie work, a fast-paced shooting regimine.
“It’s quite a thing. You have to know all your lines now! It’s boom, boom, baa all the time. We work 12hour days but it’s a good process.”
The eloquent Newman plays Bridgette, a rich, scheming housewife. She’s married to property magnate Ian October.
Newman has been in and out of 7de Laan for a few years and is happy to be shooting in Cape Town.
“The show is driven by many cultures: you see Muslims, you see high class folks. It’s the telling of our stories,” she says.
Describing Bridgette, she says, “She has the perfect home: a boy and a girl. She ticks all the boxes. Yet it’s not a happy home. There is conflict… Her husband is ruthless.”
The Afrikaans her character speaks is more “suiwer” than some of the other characters, adding to the posh feel of the character.
“Maybe people will recognise themselves. This is a human interest story. We are hoping it shows the flavours of Cape Town. We haven’t pitted ourselves against anyone.
“It will be great if people are watching.”
SQUEAKY CLEAN: Irshaad Ally plays Rhafiek Samsodien in kykNET’s new Cape Town soapie,
THIN VENEER: Denise Newman as Bridgette October on the set of