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Seventh Avenue (Sewende laan) logo
|Created by||Danie Odendaal|
|Country of origin||South Africa|
|No. of seasons||18|
|No. of episodes||4000 (as of 9 March 2017)|
|Running time||30 min (including commercial breaks)|
7de Laan is a South African Afrikaans soap opera created by Danie Odendaal and produced by Danie Odendaal Productions. The series is set in and around the fictional 7de Laan (Sewende Laan or 7th Avenue) in the suburb of Hillside, Johannesburg, where the characters live and work. The programme's dialogue is primarily in Afrikaans and is subtitled in English with some English and Zulu dialogue in between. The street and shopfronts which are featured on the opening visuals, are that of Seventh Street in Melville, Johannesburg.
Odendaal originally conceived of the series when he was a resident of the Melville section of Johannesburg. At the time, Odendaal would watch the people of his community over breakfast and a cup of coffee at his favourite coffee shop. He would make up fictitious characters based on what he saw.
The working title for the show was Die Koffiekan (The Coffee Pot). Later it was renamed Hoe Meer Dae… (How many days), but the name was considered too similar to the American soap opera, Days of Our Lives. Eventually, the title 7de Laan was chosen because it reflects a place where people live and work and because it is a common street name in South Africa.
The series made its debut on Tuesday, 4 April 2000, on South African public television network SABC 2. Initially, 7de Laan was broadcast on Tuesday only, then on Tuesday and Thursday, and eventually five days a week, Monday to Friday.
After airing at 18:30 daily for much of its broadcast history, in July 2016, 7de Laan was moved to a later timeslot, 19:00. In February 2017, 7de Laan's timeslot was changed again, this time moved to 18:00. The move was part of an ongoing programme shuffle of the SABC's three TV networks, the third such major change in a year's time. It was feared that the timeslot change would erode 7de Laan's audience, "working-class commuters," were not yet at home.
In February, SABC 2 announced that it would no longer air the omnibus edition of 7de Laan on Sunday afternoons. However, episodes continued to be repeated daily on SABC 2 at 13:00 and on SABC 3 at 13:30. The show also remained available on the network's YouTube channel.
In April 2010, 7de Laan celebrated ten years on television. During this month, viewers got to see pictures of the show through its ten years during the end credits of each episode. On 9 May 2013, episode number 3,000 was broadcast. On 20 October 2016, the series broadcast its 3,900th episode.
On 9 March 2017, 7de Laan aired its 4000th episode. The 4000th episode featured characters Vanessa (Ingrid Paulus) and Xander (Theodore Jantjies) renewing their wedding vows. Several characters from the show's past were featured in the storyline, including Errol (Christo Davids), Dezi (Elma Postma), Wilmien (Nina Swart), and Karien (Christi Panagio).
In 2009 7de Laan received 1.95 million viewers per episode. In 2015, ratings were considered "still big but flat." To improve the ratings, the show underwent changes in 2015, including a new theme song, opening credits, and sets. At the time, almost half (45,3%) of the soap's viewership across all race groups was older than 50 years of age.
In 2016, it was reported that the series was considered to be in "an ongoing ratings slide" but still drew 1.8 million viewers in September 2016 and was the 7th most popular programme on SABC 2.
The Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA) found the series and SABC 2 guilty of contravening the South African Broadcasting Code of Conduct for episodes aired on April 27 and 28, 2012, in which one of the actors drank heavily and contemplated suicide after his wife had left him.
In May 2015, SABC2 was forced to "humbly apologise" by the BCCSA for depictions of graphic violence and inappropriate language aired during February 2015. The broadcast scenes depicted a hostage drama at the show's coffeehouse, Oppiekoffie. The BCCSA ordered 7de Laan and SABC2 to broadcast an on-screen statement, accompanied by a voice-over telling viewers that 7de Laan and SABC2 had erred in broadcasting the scenes.
In May 2016, the BCCSA fined the SABC R15,000 for breaching the broadcasting code. The show had been charged with broadcasting a depiction of violence during family viewing time with insufficient warning to viewers. In an episode aired on 24 March 2016, the character Willem was shown strangling the character Gita in a violent scene.
For the first time in its then 17-year run, on 2 March 2017, 7de Laan aired a kiss between two male characters, Logan and Divan. The kiss generated a mostly positive reaction from viewers who commented on the TV show's Facebook page.
In October 2016, it was reported that 7de Laan's production company, Danie Odendaal Productions, had not been able to negotiate successfully a new contract with the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC). The company revealed that it had footed the bill for the series since July 2016 and could no longer afford to fund the production. As a result, cast and crew were told they would not be paid. It was also speculated that the 21 October 2016 episode could be the last one for several months.
7de Laan has won the following awards:
- Best Soapie, 2010, South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTA) (determined by public vote)
- Best Soapie, 2011, South African Film and Televisions Awards (SAFTA) (determined by public vote)
- Best TV Soap, 2014, South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTA) (determined by public vote)
In 2011, 7de Laan won the SAFTA public vote for Best Soapie, despite an issue with voting. The initial SMS voting number given for 7de Laan in the TV promos was wrong and had to be changed so the votes cast before the correction were lost. Voting lines opened on 14 February and the correction was made on 16 February.
In 2012, the show did not enter cast and crew into SAFTA categories, leading to its being removed from consideration from the Best Soap category.
The series' original theme song was composed by Louis van Rensburg and performed by the Soweto String Quartet. Having been the theme song since the series' inception in 2000, the tune was considered "iconic" but was replaced in June 2015 with a new composition by Joe Niemand and Nomansland. The theme-tune is so well-loved that many viewers complained when the instantly recognisable tune was replaced by the newer more modern theme.
In 2010, a cookbook featuring recipes inspired by the programme's characters was published. Characters featured include Hilda, Matrone, Charmaine, Maria, Vince, Lukas, and Paula. The book was released in two languages, in English as Cook with 7de Laan and in Afrikaans as 7de Laan Kook.
List of characters
The main cast included:
- Aggie Ngwenya (Mimi Mahlasela)
- Alexa Welman (Carina Nel)
- Amorey Welman (Kristen Raath)
- Bonita Meintjies (Hildegardt Whites)
- Charmaine Meintjies (Vinette Ebrahim)
- Chris Welman (David Rees)
- Connie van der Lecq (Quinne Brown Huffman)
- Diederik Greyling (Hennie Jacobs)
- Hilda de Kock-van Zyl (Annelisa Weiland)
- Justin Booysen (Dann-Jacques Mouton)
- Mariaan Welman (Deirdre Wolhuter)
- Marko Greyling (Francois Lensley)
- Matrone Netta Nortjè (Annelize van der Ryst-Hattingh)
- Oubaas Septimus van Zyl (Pierre van Pletzen)
- Rickus Welman (André Lotter)
- Vanessa Meintjies (Ingrid Paulus)
- Vince Meintjies (Jacques Blignaut)
- Willem Spies (Markus Haywood)
- Xander Meintjies (Theodore Jantjies)
- Amos (Boikie Pholo)
- André (Marcus Muller)
- Dezi Terreblanche (Elma Postma)
- Karien Momberg (Christi Panagio))
- Khanyi (Hlehle Ndlovu)
- Petro (Carla van der Merwe)
- Speurder Fritz de Lange (Jacques Gombault)
- Wilmien de Lange (Nina Swart)
- Alan Fletcher (guest actor) (Duncan Lawson)
- Altus de Bruyn (Heino Schmitt)
- Alyce Morapedi (Vuyelwa Booi)
- Amanda (Carina Nel)
- Anna van Biljon (Hanli Rolfes)
- Annelie van Dyk (Donnalee Roberts)
- Antoinette Heyneke (Zoe Ras)
- Asha Sharma (Kajal Bagwandeen)
- Ava Jordaan (Emily McLaren)
- Bart Kruger (Neil Sandilands)
- Bernard Jordaan (Werner Coetser)
- Brandt van der Bergh (Steve Hofmeyr)
- Brionay (Verona Gosslet)
- Carlos Perestrelo (Pedro Camara)
- Cas van Graan (Andre Roothman)
- Christelle Terreblanche (Anna-Mart van der Merwe)
- Cindy (Christina Storm)
- Clara (Angelique Gerber)
- Daleen Meintjies (Denise Newman)
- Danelle (Andrea Streso)
- Dawid Greef (Stian Bam)
- Dewald Gerické (Kaz McFadden)
- Dorothy Daniels (Shaleen Surtie-Richards)
- Dr SP de Wet Malan (Gys de Villiers)
- Dwayne (David Johnson)
- Dylan (Charl Timotheus)
- Elna Bredenkamp (Mandy Baard)
- Elsa Winterbach (Isadora Verwey)
- Emma le Roux (Bertha le Roux)
- Errol Pieterse (Christo Davids)
- Esther, Matrone's sister (Late Trudie Taljaard)
- Felicity Daniels (Melanie Du Bois)
- "Flooze van Witbank" (Sorina Erasmus)
- Francois Rossouw (Chris Van Niekerk)
- George Kyriakis (Nico Panagio)
- Gita McGregor (Jo da Silva)
- Hannes (Izak Taljaard)
- Helena Moolman (Jana Strydom)
- Henk (Francois Jacobs)
- Herman Croukamp (Deon Coetzee)
- Inge van Schalkwyk (Antoinette Louw)
- Isabelle Moolman (Illse Roos)
- Jacomien van Niekerk (Susanne Beyers)
- Jan-Hendrik Terreblanche (Waldemar Schultz)
- Jason De Lange (Jaco Snyman)
- Jerome (Terence Bridgett)
- Jocelyn Pieterse (Keziah Jooste)
- Johan (Reynard Slabbert)
- Kabelo Padi (Sekoati Tsubane)
- Kim Conradie (Corné Crous)
- Kosie van die slaghuis (Kosie)
- Leon de Lange (Dawid Minnaar)
- Liam (Dezi's skelmpie) (Chris Chameleon)
- Liezl (Anel Alexander)
- Linda Jordaan (Elsabé Daneel)
- Lindile Hadebe (Musa Ngema)
- Louis Croucamp (Lesley van Wyk)
- Lukas Mulder (Hendrik Cronje)
- Madel Terreblanche (Wilna Snyman)
- Mandla Khumalo (Freedom Hadebe)
- Marcel van Niekerk (Zetske van Pletzen)
- Maria Zibula (Themsie Times)
- Monique van Huyssteen (Minette Grové)
- Nadine (Mmapule Tsholo)
- Nadia Croukamp (Simoné Nortmann)
- Natalie Baker (Daniella Deysel)
- Neville Meintjies [† 4 September 2015](Zane Meas) Only the character died, not the actor
- Nthabiseng (Salamina Mosese)
- Neef Gert (Ben Kruger)
- Nila (Gulashafa Sayed)
- Nurse at the Hillside Clinic (Zelda Roelofse)
- Ockert (Anrich Herbst)
- Paula van der Lecq-de Bruyn (Diaan Lawrenson)
- Petra Terreblanche (Yvonne van den Bergh)
- Pierre (Brian Robson)
- Pieter van Heerden (Ivan Botha)
- Pulane Masemola (Masego Sehoole)
- Quentin [† 18 Okt 2012] (Danny Ross) Only the character died, not the actor
- Retha (Marlise Erwee)
- Riaan van Dyk (Luan Jacobs)
- Romi (Barbara-Marie Venter)
- Ryno Lategan (Chris Vorster)
- Sandra Theron-Stutterheim (Heléne Lombard)
- Sanjay Ramdin (Strini Pillai)
- San-Mari van Graan (Amalia Uys)
- Sheldon (Denver Vraagom)
- Sifiso Ndlela (Anelisa Phewa)
- Sonja Theunissen (Tessa Holloway)
- Steyn (Ivan Zimmerman)
- Tamara (Tess van Staden)
- Tante Dolores (Marga van Rooy)
- Tannie Rademan (Late Miems De Bruyn)
- Tannie Schoeman (Late Milla Louw)
- Tessa Krige (Vicky Davis)
- Tiaan Terreblanche (Francois Rautenbach)
- Tim Jordaan (Marius Weyers)
- Tokkie le Roux, Emma's father (Richard van der Westhuizen)
- Tony - warden (Marlo Minnaar)
- Trishan (Jai'prakash Sewram)
- Tshepo (Sam Mbuyane)
- Tyrone "Ty" Prinsloo (Wilhelm van der Walt)
- Willem Rautenbach (Ray Randall)
- Wynand (Marcel van Heerden)
- Zinzi Kheswa (Caroline Jacobs)
Past guest actors
- Alex (Donovan Honeyborne)
- Allen (Duncan Lawson)
- Andre (Marcus Muller)
- Andries (Ian Rossouw)
- Anél Botha (Kara du Toit)
- Antoinette Heyneke (Zoe Ras)
- Arnold Langley (Simon Bruinders.)
- Baba AJ de Bruyn (Jean Louw)
- Baba Karmen (Razeen Isaacs)
- Baba Samantha (Mia van Wyk)
- Bekker (Shaun Barnard)
- Benji (Rowan Cloete)
- Belinda (Maritsa)
- Bertus (Jean-Chris Posthumus)
- Bets (Gigi Strydom)
- Boeta (David James)
- Charlie (Yutamé Venter)
- Daleen Meintjies (Denise Newman)
- Dali (Thabiso Mokethi)
- David Abrahams (Abduraghmaan Adams)
- Douglas (Mike Huff)
- Dominee (Div de Villiers)
- Dr Moolman (Anriette van Rooyen)
- Dumisani (Sandile Makhoba)
- Dwelmsmous (Gert Steyn)
- Eben (Jacques Bessenger)
- Elaine Mostert (Natasha Dryden)
- Ettiene (David Louw)
- Fekile (Benni Langa)
- Frank Krige (Albert Maritz)
- Freda (Corlia Troskie)
- Irma Theunissen (Adriana Faling)
- Jackson (Marcus Mabusela)
- Janet (Ingeborg Riedmaier)
- Joshi (Zane Gillion)
- Jurie (Herman Vorster)
- Karmen (Erin le Roux)
- Koot (Francois Stemmet)
- Kristin de Swardt (Loriska Bubb)
- Lana (Natalie van der Walt)
- Larry Saayman (Sean Brebnor)
- Leonie (Marinhta Labuschagne)
- Lilian Bala (Vicky Kente)
- Loyiso (Mike Mvelase)
- Luke (Jonathan Pienaar)
- Lynette Lindeque (Odelle de Wet)
- Lynn-Mari (Vanessa Smith)
- Michelle (Michelle Victor)
- Monique (Lizca Kruger)
- Nadine (Mmapule Tsholo)
- Nurse (Zelda Roelofse)
- Retief (Alwyn van der Merwe)
- Rick (Darren Kelfkens)
- Rochelle (Lindy Joubert)
- Tarryn (Kay Smith)
- Terry (Jenna Dunster)
- Thinus le Roux [todler] (Juandré van Zyl)
- Tom (Craig Hawks)
- Tumi (Mari Molefe van Heerden)
- Vanessa's GP (Natasha du Plooy)
- Vivian (Vinette Ebrahim)
- Wessel Buys (André Schwartz)
- Yannis (Emmanuel Castis)
- Zelda (Amor Vittone)
Shops, businesses and residences
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7de Laan is set in Hillside which is a fictional suburb in Johannesburg. Within the suburb, there are many businesses and shops where the characters work, live, and hang out. These are some of the locations featured in the series:
- Hillside Heights
The Hillside Heights is the centre of Hillside. It is an old residential building that has small apartments where most of the characters live. The Hillside Heights building is owned jointly by Willem Spies and a new mysterious owner, and Oubaas van Zyl is the keeper of the building. Many a spookstorie made its appearance in the building's alleys, and so often somebody gets locked-up in the store room by accident.
Charmaine (Beukes) Meintjies owns and runs Oppiekoffie, which is a coffee shop located on the ground floor of the Hillside Heights building, directly opposite the Eclectic E boutique. The current waiters at Oppiekoffie are Petro, Kopano, and Amoray. Many of the young characters worked there as waiters in the past: Annelie, Bernard, Clara, Connie, Danelle, Diederik, Kabelo, Kim, Lucas, Monique, Pieter, Tessa, and Zinzi Oklahoma
- Eclectic E (Up-Market Boutique)
Eclectic E is the local boutique located opposite Oppikoffie. It is owned by Felicity Daniels, a well-known fashion designer. It was closed down for a time when Felicity left, but it has since reopened and is currently managed by Connie (van der Lecq). Past assistants were Pulane, Irma, Paula, Annelie, Clara, Monique and Tessa. It is a popular meeting place for many of the female chapaned
*The Hillside Deli The Deli is owned and managed by Vince Meintjies (one of Neville Meintjies' sons), . Jerome, Bart, Vanessa, Matrone, Lukas, Bernard, Amoray,Pieter used to work here at different times.
- The Hillside Bookshop
The bookshop is owned by Ryno Lategan with the assistance of Matrone Netta Nortjè. The bookshop has featured many real life book-releases on the show with the author guest-starring in the particular episode to sign autographs and to answer questions.
Bruynwaves is an events organising company that was previously owned by Altus du Bruyn and bought over by now owned boss Vanessa Meintjies. Diederik and Justin are co-organisers.
- Theron & Terreblanche (T&T)
T&T is the local sporting equipment shop, formerly owned by Madel Terreblanche (the matriarch of the wealthy Terreblanche family and the namesake of the shop) is now currently owned by Felicity Croukamp/Daniels . The Hillside Gym is located on the first floor of the building. Willem is the manager of T&T and Rickus work in T&T as shop assistants.
O'Malley's is the pub where the young crowd like to hang out. Former bartenders included Lucas, Pieter and Bernard.
- Stasie Ses
The new after-work recreation and relaxation venue in Hillside. Owned and run by Marko Greyling.
- 'The Welman House
This is a real, old time mansion, previously owned by Madel Terreblanche and author Ryno Lategan, then by the Croukamps, but now by the dark Welmans. It turns out to be a popular venue for house parties, fashion shows, book launches as well as wedding receptions. A fictitional character (never seen on screen) is Evelina, the residence's cook and famous for her dish Evelina se niertjies. She started working there when it was still Madel's house in early episodes.
- Hillside Clinic
Whenever there is a medical emergency, this scene comes into play. "Patients" are kept in bed for a short while, visited by the other characters, and then discharged home. Doctor Alexa Welman works here.
Other places (seldom seen on screen):
- Restaurant "Le Petit Paris"
- The Cherry On Top (Restaurant)
- Mostly Matise (Restaurant)
- Laura Lee Beauty Salon
- Felicity Fashions' factory
- Die slaghuis (butchery)
- Die apteek (pharmacy)
- Police station and magistrate's court
- The Church (mostly for weddings)
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