History channel stokes the curiosity of viewers with ‘Great African Escapes’

John Robbie. Picture: Supplied

John Robbie. Picture: Supplied

Published Jul 28, 2023


The History Channel recently announced two local shows: “Great African Mysteries” and “Great African Escapes”.

Produced by Clive Morris Productions, both standalone shows are hosted by radio personality, John Robbie.

“Great African Mysteries”, which aired last Friday but you can check the channel for other repeats, explored three of Mzansi’s biggest mysteries.

The discovery of Homo Naledi at the Cradle of Humankind is one of them along with the hoard of gold which Paul Kruger reportedly hid from the British during the Second Boer War.

And there’s the question mark around the events surrounding the crash of a South African passenger aircraft, known as the Helderberg, in 1987. All 159 people on board were killed.

In the “Great African Escapes”, the death-defying passenger rescue from the sinking MTS Oceanos cruise liner in 1991 is one of the key focuses. Other Houdini-esque mystery include the prison break of four anti-apartheid activists: Mosie Moolla, Harold Wolpe, Arthur Goldreich and Abdulhay Jassat.

Lastly, much research went into Albie Sachs’ miraculous escape from a car bomb explosion in 1988 and how this set him on a course of "soft vengeance" to achieve freedom in a democratic South Africa.

Are you intrigued yet?

Well, you should be because a lot of research went into the making of both these shows.

Marketing Manager of the History Channel Africa, Anita Gardini said: “We’re a premier channel for historical storytelling, so we are incredibly proud to uncover six local stories through these two shows.

“It was great to work with John, whose effortless narration and additions of little-known facts bring each of these moments in time to life.”

Khayelihle Dom Gumede, the Chief Operating Officer at CMP, added: “Unearthing just a few of South Africa’s historical mysteries and great escapes has been an incredible journey of fact-finding and storytelling for CMP.

“And along the way, to meet inspiring people like Justice Albie Sachs and Professor Lee Berger who've had such an impact on our world and our country, has had a profound influence on our production team.”

∎Viewers can catch “Great African Escapes” on Friday, July 28, at 9.05pm with repeats on Sunday at 5.10pm and Monday at 10.15am.