Viewers are being treated to an enchanting journey through South Africa’s celebrated Lowveld region in Laeveldbewoners, an exciting new travel series on KykNet. The series, produced by needs-matched insurer, BrightRock, is the third iteration of the popular Karoobewoners and Weskusbewoners series. Billed by its creators as a celebration of life, change, and the power of the human spirit, the 13-part series premiered on 7 January 2023.
Laeveldbewoners immerses viewers in the beauty and diversity of the Lowveld, a region spanning large swathes of Mpumalanga. It is a place that takes your breath away – its rolling hills, lush greenery and sparkling rivers are a feast for the eyes. But the Lowveld is not just famed for its natural beauty; it’s also a region rich in history and home to some of South Africa’s most remarkable people.
“The Laeveld is a truly special place, full of vibrant and extraordinary people doing exceptional things,” said the show’s director, Ian Martin. “We wanted to capture the spirit of the region and share it with audiences across South Africa – highlighting the charm and diversity of the Laeveld, as well as the unique stories of the people who call it home.”
Over the course of the series, viewers will engage with a diverse cast of characters who have overcome challenges and found success in their own unique ways – often creating positive change in their communities in the process. From Mbombela to Schoemanskloof, the show explores some of the region’s hidden gems and untold stories, allowing viewers to experience and appreciate some of South Africa’s most vibrant landscapes and people. In episode 2, which aired this past Saturday, viewers were introduced to Mariette Joubert and Smangaliso Mlondolozi, just two of the unique Lowveld-inhabitants featured across the series.
Mariette Joubert, is a matriarch and ox-wagon collector from Schoemanskloof. She has a unique hobby of collecting and restoring ox wagons, especially wagons that were used in the Anglo Boer War. With the help of her husband, Kobus, she has amassed a collection of 36 wagons, including one that was apparently owned by the South African author and politician Percy Fitzpatrick. Mariette has made it her mission to conserve a tiny bit of this heritage – 15 of the wagons are kept privately while the rest are open to the public to observe at the family’s padstal.
Smangaliso Mlondolozi, on the other hand, is a young man from Mbombela who works at the Sudwala Caves – the oldest dolomite cave in the world. Smangaliso was mesmerised by the caves when he first visited them as a teenager, and knew he had to work there one day. After studying tourism management, he got an internship at the Caves and eventually was employed full-time. He is passionate about sharing the beauty and rich history of the caves with others and says he can “speak for an hour on end” about the Caves.
While in episode 3, which will air on Saturday, 21 January, audiences will be transported to Alkmaar and Mbombela to get to know Gert and Miemie Nel, and listen to Dr Billy Magagula’s fascinating stories.
Celebrating change and the opportunities it brings
Speaking of BrightRock’s involvement in the series, Deputy CEO Suzanne Stevens explains that it ties into BrightRock’s #LoveChange philosophy and the belief that even in life’s most unexpected and difficult changes, there is always opportunity. The people featured in the show subjects have all gone through significant change in their personal lives and careers, but they have all come out on the other side stronger and more resilient. The show explores how they have navigated change in their lives, and what opportunities it has unlocked – not just for them, but for the communities they live in.
“Through the deeply moving human stories in Laeveldbewoners – and its predecessors, Karoobewoners and Weskusbewoners – we hope to show that change can be a positive and powerful force and that there is always an opportunity to be uncovered or a lesson to be learned, regardless of one’s circumstances” said BrightRock’s Deputy CEO, Suzanne Stevens. “It’s been a privilege to help create this series and to share these inspiring stories with audiences.”
Join BrightRock and KykNet on this exciting journey through the Laeveld, every Saturday at 6pm on KykNet, DStv channel 144. It’s also available on DSTV Catch-Up.