October and November are going to be special months for fans of Afrikaans soapie Binnelanders, weekdays on kykNET (DStv 144) at 19:30.

The soap, which chronicles the intricate lives of the doctors, nurses and other personnel at the prestigious fictional Pretoria hospital Binneland Clinic, are celebrating their milestone 15th birthday, and they are treating viewers with some exciting storylines and characters.

Five new faces will roam the corridors of Binneland in November, each with their own dramatic or light-hearted storylines that the soapie is hoping with keep viewers coming back for more, weekdays at 19:30.

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15 years young

“Binnelanders strives to tell life-like stories,” says Elsje Stark, the soapie’s executive producer. “The stories are characterised by twists and turns that the characters go through and with which viewers can identify.” And in the process to keep the soapie fresh and exciting, Elsje and her team “continually address the finest details of every step in the production process, and above all and the most important, is that we don’t underestimate our viewers,” says the executive producer.

The 15th birthday milestone is a great honour for Elsje, who already had reason to smile this year when Binnelanders was crowned the Most Outstanding Soapie of 2020 at the Royalty Soapy Awards in September 2020. “We have an incredible production team that work closely together, complement each other, and are always willing to give even more. We feel infinitely proud and grateful, and we breathe a common sigh of relief and satisfaction – we have been doing it for 15 years,” adds Elsje.

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Under a Jacaranda tree

There is only one element more iconic to Binnelanders than its hospital boss and main character, At Koster (played by the illustrious actor Hans Strydom), and that is its theme song, Under A Jacaranda Tree.


Sing us a song

Composed and written by Afrikaans singer Jak de Priester, the Binnelanders theme song is well known especially for its references to the Jacaranda trees that line the streets of Pretoria and bloom in purple glory. Jak specially taped an acoustic version of the song that he dedicated to the soap for its 15th birthday.


Hip-hip-hooray

Well wishes from other actors who also call Binnelanders home have streamed in online, including…

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Paramedic Danny Jantjies

Bradley Olivier, who plays fiery paramedic Danny, was stunned to learn that Binnelanders has been around that long. “Wow! First of all, congratulations to Stark Films and the crew with this milestone. Binnelanders has been such a big part of my career so far, and I’m really grateful to be part of the team.”


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Businessman Louis Koster

Germandt Geldenhuys, who plays At’s younger brother, Louis, says that the past four years that he’s been part of the Binnelanders cast have been amazing. In the last two years, Louis as a character has grown tremendously, and Germandt feels honoured that the writers came to trust him with bigger storylines. “Before, Louis wasn’t taken too seriously. He was the nice guy who could be a bit naïve, but now he is all grown-up and wise.”


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Doctor Annelize Roux

Cindy Swanepoel, who plays At’s most recent ex-wife serious doctor Annelize Roux, says she is in awe to be part of the soapie’s 15th year of existence. “I just love my character because you never know what she has up her sleeve, and she is full of surprises.”


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November newcomers

November will bring new faces to Binnelanders, starting with nurse Rita Nortier (Ilana Cilliers, Anja from 2016 movie Johnny Is Nie Dood Nie) who will start working at the clinic. “Rita may seem innocent, but she is at Binneland for a reason,” says Ilana cryptically. “She is under the impression that she is helping someone close to her by being there, but she is actually being used and manipulated.”


Koos Jonker, played by veteran actor Ryno Hattingh (Frans Roodt in 1992 drama series Konings) is the father of doctor Tertius (Reynardt Hugo) and he unexpectedly arrives in Pretoria to see his son. “Tertius and Koos do not have a close relationship, and Tertius finds this unplanned visit suspicious,” says Reynardt, whose co-star Ryno is making a comeback to acting after a lengthy hiatus. To further complicate the visit, a woman named Wendy Toerien (Henrietta Gryffenberg, Ester Benade in 2016 movie Dominee Tienie) makes her appearance following Koos’s unfortunate car accident and her ties to the older man are revealed.

Old love flames are re-ignited, too, this November, when doctor Hugo’s (Cobus Rossouw Jr.) ex-wife, physiotherapist Julia Wessels (Eloise Clasen), joins the resident doctors at Binneland. And ex-nurse-turned-pharmaceutical rep Elsie Kruger (Lindie Stander, Melanie in 2017 movie Seepglad) also pops in at Binneland for a little comedy mishap or two.

Watch Binnelanders, weekdays on kykNET (DStv 144) at 19:30 or on Catch Up


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