LIEWE HEKSIE Celebrates Mandela Day

LIEWE HEKSIE celebrates Mandela Day
Marika van der Linde, Matrone Lombaard and Frans Swart (back),
with Zelbry Visagie, Ana van Achterbergh as Liewe Heksie, Namane
Kuente, Katrien Viljoen and Phillru van Achterbergh as Karring

South Africans across the country celebrated Mandela Day last Friday by giving 67 minutes of their time to enrich the lives of others. The initiative was officially launched by the United Nations in 2009 and asks people worldwide to use 67 minutes - one minute for every year of the late former President Nelson Mandela stood in service of his fellow man - to make a difference in someone else's life. Lefra Productions, in association with East Rand Stereo and Life Springs Parkland Clinic, celebrated Mandela Day by inviting Verna Vels's beloved Liewe Heksie into the "real world".

Liewe Heksie and her friends gave a special performance, entitled LIEWE HEKSIE EN MANDELA SE PARTYTJIE, for more than 300 excited children at the Life Springs Parkland Clinic on Friday morning. Ana of Achterbergh played LIEWE HEKSIE and Phillru Achterbergh took on the roles of Karring Kabouter, one of the Gifappeltjies, Koning Rosekrans, Karel Kat and Kwaai Baba.

"It was wonderful to see the children's faces during this ad-lib performance of LIEWE HEKSIE when Liewe Heksie mentioned former president Nelson Mandela's birthday," says Frans Swart, director and producer of the show. "What a wonderful way that one South African legend, Liewe Heksie, could pay tribute to another South African legend, Nelson Mandela."

Lefra Productions has been touring with many successful productions of LIEWE HEKSIE since 2009. The current tour includes two stories, LIEWE HEKSIE EN BOTTERBLOM and LIEWE HEKSIE EN DIE TUINDWERGIE.

LIEWE HEKSIE celebrates Mandela Day
East Rand Stereo's Darius Potgieter and Karen Augusta,
with children who attended the LIEWE HEKSIE
performance and Frans Swart from Lefra Productions

LIEWE HEKSIE EN BOTTERBLOM tells the story of Botterblom, who supplies are of the milk for Liewe Heksie and her friends. But Botterblom is angry, because Karring, the milk-goblin who looks after her, will not let anyone visit her and she has become very lonely - and that is how all the trouble starts.

After an interval, LIEWE HEKSIE EN DIE TUINDWERGIE is presented, in which we are introduced to Casper the garden gnome when he wakes up in Liewe Heksie's garden one morning. He spots someone behind a tree. Is it one of the nasty gifappeltjies?

LIEWE HEKSIE EN DIE TUINDWERGIE is a brand new story written by Vels as the inspiration for a new theatre production and premiered last year to celebrate the author's 80th birthday. "I always wanted to have Heksie meet a garden gnome," says Vels, "and wondered Heksie would do with a garden gnome. Believe me, I'm sure she will get herself into trouble once again! Our friends will have to come and Heksie gets up to with Casper, the garden gnome."

Swart says that he is very excited that the new Verna story was specially written for and entrusted to him: "Liewe Heksie has had a great influence on my life through the years, because I was cameraman on the LIEWE HEKSIE television series. Besides growing up with Liewe Heksie, Heksie crept into my heart with the television series. It is a great honour for me to stage LIEWE HEKSIE EN DIE TUINDWERGIE and it particularly special, because it's a fresh and brand new story."

LIEWE HEKSIE is now available for schools performances and hosting a production is an ideal way for pre-primary and primary schools to raise funds. For further information, contact Monica Booysen on (011) 815-3000, of email Lefra Productions

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