Cancer, chemo and student life

At 20, life is supposed to be beginning, not ending.

“It’s the best cancer to get.” That’s what Dr Pillay tells the bewildered Kittie Claassen (Carla Smith), a 22-year-old honours student in the new 13-episode series, Tydelik Terminaal (“Temporarily Terminal”) as she faces six months of hell fighting for her life.

Her diagnosis of Hodgkin’s disease also means additional challenges for her dreams of winning prizes for her journalistic career, which she is determined to pursue after her cancer treatment.

Tydelik Terminaal, produced by Nouvanaand Films, spans over half a year of Kittie’s life during which she undergoes chemotherapy, makes unexpected new friends – while maintaining her best friends – in unlikely places, tries to keep up with and to complete her studies and deepens her understanding and wisdom of humanity and what it truly means to be alive.

Kittie, together with her two best friends Mandy (Eve Nthabiseng Rasimeni) and Fanie (Hendrik Nieuwoudt), find themselves in the big crossover phase of young adulthood – where the realities of life start to kick in but without the full load of responsibilities; a time to still have unburdened fun but with a lot of uncertainties over what the future will look like. Each character is confronted with a grown-up world spinning faster and faster with less and less control of the course that life takes.

Elanie Rupping, the creator of Tydelik Terminaal, says that the series was inspired by her own battle against cancer. “I’ve learnt that life’s biggest struggles and setbacks can sometimes also be the biggest gifts because they teach us empathy through which we can connect with other people. I used one of the most difficult things that ever happened to me as a vehicle to hopefully help people to feel that they’re not alone – that it’s a shared experience and that there’s always hope.”

The series offers a new angle on the life of a 22-year-old South African woman, with a fresh perspective on student life and uneasy questions about identity through Kittie’s chemo journey to physical healing but also emotional unburdening.

In addition to the youngsters, the Tydelik Terminaal cast has legendary veterans including Frank Opperman as Oom Len who has prostate cancer, and Anna-Mart van der Merwe as his busybody wife Julie, supporting him and eventually also Kittie.

Zane Meas, Henriëtta Gryffenberg, David Reese, Stiaan Smith, Almar Müller, Arno Greeff, Ruan Blum, Anel Alexander, Francois Jacobs, Reginah Dube and Tiffany Barbuzano round off the cast.

Read more about the show here.

Watch Tydelik Terminaal on Wednesdays on kykNET (144), starting 30 October 2019 at 20:00.
Available on Catch Up and DStv Now »

Sign up for DStv Now

It’s an online streaming service for all DStv subscribers. Watch the channels you watch on your decoder at home, but on the internet! Go to on your laptop and Catch Up on the episodes you missed.