Shimmy Isaacs’s new series ‘Mince Jou Hare’ is a tribute to her mother

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

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

Published May 9, 2024


Award-winning comedian, Shimmy Isaacs is giving her mom a special gift this Mother’s Day.

Isaacs’ has created a feel-good, small-town sitcom, based on her mother, Frieda Baarman, which comes to life on Showmax on May 20.

Titled, “Mince Jou Hare”, the show is set in the fictional town of Hex Valley in the Western Cape and follows Frieda (Melissa de Vries) as she quits her factory job to set up a hair salon in her home.

Other cast include comedian Dugald Pieterse as Frieda’s husband, Vincent, Bianca Flanders as her best friend, Julia and Franka Kirby in a breakthrough role as her daughter, Jody.

Keenan Arrison, Lee-Ann van Rooi, Euodia Samson, Gershwin Mias also join the show, with Emile Smit, who rounds out the stellar cast as Frieda's love-struck neighbour.

“My mother’s story is very much a part of my story and it felt like an important one to tell.

“Worcester was a factory town and my mother was a factory worker. When she quit her job at the factory and she said that she was done working for someone else, this was a significant event in my life. She did everything that she set out to do.

“It inspired me. My mother represents faith to me. I wanted to introduce others to the inspiration that my mother, Frieda, is, and to the lively world of small towns like Worcester,” said Isaacs.

Aside from creating the show, Isaacs also wrote and produced it through Penguin Films, the company behind shows like “Stokvel and Home Affairs”, “Madam & Eve” and “Arendsvlei”.

Set in Isaacs home town of Hex Valley, she wanted to highlight it’s people, who are often overlooked.

“I always say that coloured people are not monolithic people, they don’t just come from Cape Town and the Cape Flats. They even speak Afrikaans differently in Worcester.

“I also thought it was important to celebrate the small-town values of towns like Worcester, where it is still customary to stand up for the elderly and help aunties cross the road, for example. We need to go back to the spaces that value respect and kindness,” she said.

Isaacs said this is a story ultimately about a woman who wants to succeed in life and is willing to do whatever she has to do to make that happen.

“I want them (viewers) to learn that it is okay to be themselves first and foremost. But I always say, ‘Be yourself with goals’.

“Look at Vincent, Frieda’s husband. He's that content guy. And then you look at his wife. Yin and yang. You need balance in life. You need the one that's okay and that says we're enough and then you need the other one that says it's okay, we can work harder, so we can have more holidays.

“What I want people to take away from ‘Mince Jou Hare’ is they can do both. They can work hard and have a good time. And know that they're enough, no matter what that is.”