South Africans were left heartbroken on Monday when SABC 2 announced that beloved soapie “7de Laan” will not be returning for another season after 23 years on air.
Season 24 comes to an end in December.
The brainchild of Danie Odendaal, “7de Laan” made its debut on SABC 2 on April 4, 2000, bringing to life much-loved characters such as Oubaas, Hilda, Charmaine, Aggie, Emma, and the Meintjies family, who all became household names.
Originally presented in Afrikaans only, the show has gone through many transformations through the introduction of various dynamic characters, storylines and languages from other races and cultures, reflecting the rich diversity of the country.
Over the years it has also dealt with many social ills, including gender-based violence, drug addiction, kidnapping and human trafficking.
Head of content for Video Entertainment for SABC, Lala Tuku, said: “SABC is proud to have worked with Danie Odendaal Productions and been part of the journey leading and producing the best Afrikaans soapie on local television for SABC 2.
“‘7de Laan’ has penetrated the hearts of millions of South Africans. With iconic characters over the years that still hold a place in the viewers hearts, powerful storylines crafted by a talented writing team engaged the audience on relevant topics.
“After more than two decades on air, the award-winning ‘7de Laan’ leaves a lasting imprint on the SA television landscape.”
“7de Laan” executive producer Thandi Ramathesele said it was an honour and privilege to produce a show that has touched the lives of so many South Africans for over two decades.
“As we come to the end of this chapter, we express our heartfelt gratitude to the dedicated cast and crew who have poured their talent and passion into bringing the show to life. We also extend our deepest appreciation to the viewers and fans whose unwavering support has been the driving force behind our success.
“It is bitter-sweet to say goodbye, but we are filled with pride for the impact that ‘7de Laan’ has had on our society, addressing important social issues and fostering inclusively, the show has made its mark on South African television. Thank you for being a part of this remarkable journey with us,” Ramathesele said.
“7de Laan” has won numerous awards and was voted the Most Popular Soapie in the Royalty Soapie Awards this year with the Outstanding Female Villain award won by Deirdre Wolhuter for her portrayal of Mariaan Welman.