‘Mince Jou Hare’ creator Shimmy Isaacs on the divine timing of the show

The vibrant Shimmy Isaacs is the brains behind the new Showmax series, ‘Mince Jou Hare.’ Picture: Instagram.

The vibrant Shimmy Isaacs is the brains behind the new Showmax series, ‘Mince Jou Hare.’ Picture: Instagram.

Published Jun 3, 2024


Award-winning comedian Shimmy Isaacs, is adamant that divine timing played a vital role in the release of her new show “Mince Jou Hare.”

The feel-good, small-town comedy based on her mother, Frieda Baartman, debuted on Showmax in May.

But the series, which is set in the fictional town of Hex Valley in the Western Cape and follows Frieda Klaasen (Melissa de Vries) as she quits her factory job to set up an at-home hair salon, almost didn't end up on television screens.

Isaacs who is the “Mince Jou Hare” creator, producer and writer, explained that the show, which was initially called “Frieda,” was shelved for about five years.

It was initially meant to air on another network but due to issues like a management hand-over and the complications brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, it wasn't brought to life until now.

Melissa de Vries as Frieda and Lee-Ann van Rooi as Suzette in “Mince Jou Hare”. Picture: Supplied.

She believes these setbacks were necessary, and without her knowing it at the time, made the show even better than she could have ever imagined.

“The advice my mother always gives me is that if you mustn't intervene with God’s plan, let God do what God’s supposed to do, you go and do the dishes,” she told Independent Media Lifestyle.

“I had to do that and when I did, look at what came my way.”

While the show was shelved, Isaacs spent time honing her craft.

Isaacs believes that this process of growth has paid off because, with just a few episodes of “Mince Jou Hare” being released so far, it is already amongst the Top 10 most-watched series on the streaming platform.

“When something is paused or halted, you have to continue to work and exercise your other muscles.”

“You have got to constantly be in training for the thing that you're supposed to be doing, and by the time I got the call about Showmax wanting the show, I was in a ‘let’s go’ frame of mind.”

She added that she thoroughly enjoyed working with the “Mince Jou Hare’s” cast, which includes comedian Dugald Pieterse as Frieda’s husband, Vincent Klaasen, Bianca Flanders as her best friend, Julia September and Franka Kirby in a breakthrough role as her daughter, Jody Klaasen.

Keenan Arrison, Lee-Ann van Rooi, Euodia Samson, Gershwin Mias and Emile Smit, complete the stellar cast.

Isaacs and her team hand-picked the entire cast and worked closely with them during the writing process.

“It is important for writers to spend time with the actors in order to understand their voices and to learn how to mould and bring the characters closer to the actors to make the show as authentic as possible.”

As “Mince Jou Hare” is inspired by Isaacs’ family and community, it is a personal project for her and she was determined to use the show to pay tribute to her mother, who fell pregnant with her when she was just 17.

She believes that this age is also significant in her own life because she left her Worcester home at 17 to move to Cape Town.

Isaacs explained that she used all the money she would make from her several jobs at the time, including working in the retail industry, to enrol at acting and writing workshops.

She eventually landed a scholarship to attend the prestigious AFDA (Africa Film Drama Art) film school in the Mother City, where she honed her craft as an actress, writer, producer and director.

“I was a bit of an overachiever and because I was there on a scholarship, I had to do more than just my best. I had to work 10 times harder to let people know that I deserved to be in that space.”

Isaacs has since had an illustrious career as a stand-up comedian and has made significant contributions to the television and movie industry.

Shimmy Isaacs as Alice in “Unseen.” File image.

She starred on the Showmax comedy “Koek”, the drama series “Arendsvlei” and the hit Netflix shows “Unseen” and “Blood & Water.”

Isaacs was also the head writer for the Afrikaans comedy-drama series, “Karavaan.”

Despite her impressive acting resume, Isaacs decided to work behind the scenes for “Mince Jou Hare.”

“It was important for me to steer this creatively and narratively and I really wanted to focus on being a producer and a writer,” she explained.

“I have no problems stepping aside and I think that it is time for new actors to come.”

As more episodes of “Mince Jou Hare” are set to drop over the coming months, Isaacs hopes that the show makes people “feel good about themselves.”

“I just want people to be okay with who they are, to be kind to one another and to try and have a spirit of forgiveness,” she explained.

“I am not going to change the world with one show, but I believe that it can make an impact.”