Seventh Avenue (Sewende laan) logo
|Created by||Danie Odendaal|
|Country of origin||South Africa|
|No. of seasons||21|
|No. of episodes||4,244 (as of 4 June 2020)|
|Producer(s)||Danie Odendaal |
|Running time||23 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Danie Odendaal Productions|
7de Laan is a South African Afrikaans soap opera created by Danie Odendaal and produced by Danie Odendaal Productions. The series focuses on the lives of residents staying in and around the community of 7de Laan (7th Avenue), in the suburb of Hillside. 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… (The More 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 2017, SABC 2 announced that it would no longer air the omnibus edition of 7de Laan on Sunday afternoons. However, in May 2017, SABC 2 announced that the Sunday omnibus would resume in July. As of February 2017, 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.
In 2018, the show's viewership surged and passed the 3.0 million viewership mark. Weekly omnibus episodes also draw an additional 1.0 million viewers on average each week.
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 27 and 28 April 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 January 2019, an interracial kissing scene between Fikani Chauke and Alexa Welman (portrayed by Nicholas Nkuna and Carina Nel respectively) sparked outrage, condemnation and was subject to racist remarks on the shows social media pages from fans who felt the scene was inappropriate. The show defended its decision to include the interracial kiss and its creators called for an end to hate speech.
As much as we respect our viewers’ right to voice their opinion, 7de Laan will not tolerate hate speech, racism or instigation of such narratives by any member of the public or media. We stand by our diverse story lines that tell stories of a real South Africa in which we all strive to live harmoniously.— 7de Laan
List of Scriptwriters
Some of the writers who have contributed to the success of the show are:
- Hanli Rolfes- Opperman (Head Writer)
- Linda Scheepers (Script Editor)
- Jo-Ann Scholtz (Storyline Editor and Writer)
- Cobus Kock (Writer)
- Martina Theunissen (Storyliner)
- Piet Matipa (Storyliner and Writer)
- Lian van der Westhuizen (Storyliner)
- Maritha Broschk (Writer)
- Marlise Erwee (Writer)
- Johann Smith (Writer)
- Shemane Harris (Writer)
- Luke Matthews (Script Coordinator)
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 includes the following characters (and the actors who play them):
- Aggie Ngwenya-Meintjies (Mimi Mahlasela)
- Alexa Welman (Carina Nel)
- Bonita Meintjies (Hildegardt Whites)
- Connie van der Lecq (Quinne Brown Huffman)
- DeWet Basson/Ben Cronjé (Dirk Stoltz)
- Esti Fouche (Reandi Grey)
- Fikani Chauke (Nicholas Nkuna)
- Ivy Peterson (Nazli George)
- Justin Booysen (Dann-Jacques Mouton)
- Lesedi Moloi (KB Motsilanyane)
- Mariaan Welman (Deirdre Wolhuter)
- Marko Greyling (Francois Lensley)
- Marvin Peterson (Duncan Johnson)
- Nikki Basson (Danielle Retief)
- Rickus Kingsley (Welman) (André Lötter)
- Shawn Basson (Deànré Reiners)
- Vince Meintjies (Jacques Blignaut)
Recurring characters (guest artists)
- André Vosloo (Marcus Muller)
- Chris Welman (David Rees)
- Christopher Whittaker (Jiphtael Langeveldt)
- Edmond "Eddie" Peterson (El-Kody Langeveldt)
- Erika Basson (Corine du Toit)
- Gabby Kemp (Blyde Smit)
- Hettie Bothma (Karin van der Laag)
- Karmen Meintjies (Gabriella Linton)
- Khethiwe Mthathi (Sesethu Ntombela)
- Kopano Sithole (Thabo Mhlanga)
- Lana Basson (Mila Guy)
- Romeo Peterson (Clint Aplon)
- Thomas Fouche (Vian Singleton)
- Tjattas Bothma (Rikus Strauss)
- Viola "Vee" Peterson (Zoey Volkwyn)
Past characters (actors)
- Altus de Bruyn (Heino Schmitt)
- Alyce Morapedi (Vuyelwa Booi)
- Amorey Welman Spies (Kristen Raath)
- 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)
- Ben van Staden (Louis Auret)
- Bernard Jordaan (Werner Coetser)
- Brandt van der Bergh (Steve Hofmeyr)
- Brionay (Verona Gosslet)
- Carlos Perestrelo (Pedro Camara)
- Cas van Graan (Andre Roothman)
- Charmaine Meintjies (Vinette Ebrahim)
- Christelle Terreblanche (Anna-Mart van der Merwe)
- Cindy (Christina Storm)
- Clara (Angelique Gerber)
- Daleen Meintjies (Denise Newman)
- Daniel Meintjies (Kynan Lottering)
- Danelle (Andrea Streso)
- Dawid Greef (Stian Bam)
- Derin (Eugene Wanangwa Khumbanyiwa)
- Dewald Gerické (Kaz McFadden)
- Dezi Terreblanche (Elma Postma)
- Diederik Greyling (Hennie Jacobs)
- 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-Wahl)
- Errol Pieterse (Christo Davids)
- Esther, Matrone's sister (Late Trudie Taljaard)
- Felicity Daniels (Melanie Du Bois)
- "Flooze van Witbank" (Sorina Erasmus)
- Francois "Krokodil" 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)
- Hilda de Kock (Annelisa Weiland)
- Inge van Schalkwyk (Antoinette Louw)
- Isabelle Moolman (Illse Roos)
- Jacob Moloi (Patrick Shai)
- 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)
- Karien Momberg (Christi Panagio)
- Kim Conradie (Corné Crous)
- Lanie (Natalie van der Walt)
- Leon de Lange (Dawid Minnaar)
- Liam (Chris Chameleon)
- Liezl (Anel Alexander)
- Linda Jordaan (Elsabé Daneel)
- Lindile Hadebe (Musa Ngema)
- Louis Spies (Leslie van Wyk)
- Lukas Mulder (Hendrik Cronje)
- Madel Terreblanche (Wilna Snyman)
- Mandla Khumalo (Freedom Hadebe)
- Marcel van Niekerk (Zetske van Pletzen)
- Maria Zibula (Themsie Times)
- Matrone Netta Nortjé (Annelize van der Ryst)
- Monique van Huyssteen (Minette Grové)
- Nadine (Mmapule Tsholo)
- Nadia Croukamp (Simoné Nortmann)
- Neville Meintjies (Zane Meas)
- Nthabiseng (Salamina Mosese)
- Neef Gert (Ben Kruger)
- Nila (Gulashafa Sayed)
- Nozi Gumede (Dimpho More)
- Ockert (Anrich Herbst)
- Olivia Greyling (Nadia Herbst)
- Oubaas Septimus van Zyl (Pierre van Pletzen)
- Paula van der Lecq-de Bruyn (Diaan Lawrenson)
- Petra Terreblanche (Yvonne van den Bergh)
- Petro Cilliers (Carla van der Merwe)
- Pierre (Brian Robson)
- Pieter van Heerden (Ivan Botha)
- Pulane Masemola (Masego Sehoole)
- Quentin (Danny Ross)
- 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)
- Terry de Klerk (Jenna Dunster)
- Tessa Krige (Vicky Davis)
- Tiaan Terreblanche (Francois Rautenbach)
- Tim Jordaan (Marius Weyers)
- Tokkie le Roux (Richard van der Westhuizen)
- Trishan (Jai'prakash Sewram)
- Tshepo (Sam Mbuyane)
- Tyrone "Ty" Prinsloo (Wilhelm van der Walt)
- Vanessa Meintjies (Ingrid Paulus)
- Vernon (Duane Williams)
- Willem Rautenbach (Ray Randall)
- Willem Spies (Markus Haywood)
- Wilmien de Lange (Nina Swart)
- Wynand (Marcel van Heerden)
- Xander Meintjies (Theodore Jantjies)
- Zinzi Kheswa (Caroline Jacobs)
Past recurring characters (guest actors)
- Alan Fletcher (Duncan Lawson)
- Alex (Donovan Honeyborne)
- Amos Ndaba (Boikie Pholo)
- Andries (Ian Rossouw)
- Anél Botha (Kara du Toit)
- Antoinette Heyneke (Zoe Ras)
- Arnold Langley (Simon Bruinders)
- Baby AJ de Bruyn (Jean Louw)
- Baby Daniel Meintjies (Riley Moses)
- Baby Karmen (Razeen Isaacs)
- Baby Samantha (Mia van Wyk)
- Bekker (Shaun Barnard)
- Benji (Rowan Cloete)
- Belinda (Maritsa)
- Bertus (Jean-Chris Posthumus)
- Bets (Gigi Strydom)
- Boeta (David James)
- Brummer (Abel Knobel)
- Charlie (Yutamé Venter)
- Chris-Jan "CJ" Tredoux (Jean-Pierre Lombard)
- Clinton Cilliers (Adolph de Beer)
- Daleen Meintjies (Denise Newman)
- Dali (Thabiso Mokethi)
- David Abrahams (Abduraghmaan Adams)
- Douglas Fletcher (Mike Huff)
- Dominee (Div de Villiers)
- Dr Kritzinger (Estelle Kriek Venter)
- Dr Moolman (Anriette van Rooyen)
- Dumisani (Sandile Makhoba)
- Dwelmsmous (Gert Steyn)
- Eben (Jacques Bessenger)
- Elaine Mostert (Natasha Dryden)
- Emile (Christopher van der Westhuizen)
- Ettiene (David Louw)
- Fekile (Benni Langa)
- Frank Krige (Albert Maritz)
- Freda (Corlia Troskie)
- Hector Sithole (Lutendo Mugeri)
- Irma Theunissen (Adriana Faling)
- Jackson (Marcus Mabusela)
- Janet (Ingeborg Riedmaier)
- Joshi (Zane Gillion)
- Jurie (Herman Vorster)
- Karmen (Erin le Roux)
- Kevin Ramsay (Ashish Gangapersad)
- Khanyi Ndaba (Hlehle Ndlovu)
- Koot (Francois Stemmet)
- Kosie (Kosie Schoeman)
- Kristin de Swardt (Loriska Bubb)
- Kyla Welman (Izel Bezuidenhout)
- Larry Saayman (Sean Brebnor)
- Leonie (Marinhta Labuschagne)
- Lianie Tredoux (Heidi Mollentze)
- Liezel (Liezl Geldenhuys)
- Lilian Bala (Vicky Kente)
- Lola (Gigi)
- Lorraine (Estelle Grobler - Stellie)
- Loyiso (Mike Mvelase)
- Luke (Jonathan Pienaar)
- Lynette Lindeque (Odelle de Wet)
- Lynn-Mari (Vanessa Smith)
- Mam'Nothemba (Thokozile Clementine Ntshinga)
- Michelle (Michelle Victor)
- Mienkie Nel Kingsley (Marijke Bezuidenhout)
- Monika "Liefie" Visagie (Martelize Kolver)
- Monique (Lizca Kruger)
- Monique Adams (Leiden Colbet)
- Nadine (Mmapule Tsholo)
- Natalie Baker (Daniella Deysel)
- Nathan Alexander (Vaughn Lucas)
- Nurse (Zelda Roelofse)
- Professor Jonathan Bailey (Mark Richardson)
- Renier Dippenaar (Frederick Bezuidenhout)
- Retief (Alwyn van der Merwe)
- Rick (Darren Kelfkens)
- Rochelle (Lindy Joubert)
- Ruth (Tina Jaxa)
- Speurder Kobus Fourie (Willem Klopper)
- Speurder Fritz de Lange (Jacques Gombault)
- Suna Bosman (Anelle Bester Ludik)
- Tarryn (Kay Smith)
- Terry (Jenna Dunster)
- Thinus le Roux (Juandré van Zyl)
- Tineke (Trix Vivier)
- Tom (Craig Hawks)
- Tony (Marlo Minnaar)
- Tumi (Mari Molefe van Heerden)
- Uncle Hugo (Tobie Cronje)
- Varinder Oberoi (Varen)
- Vanessa's GP (Natasha du Plooy)
- Vivian Williams (Vinette Ebrahim)
- Wessel Buys (André Schwartz)
- Yannis (Emmanuel Castis)
- Young Amorey (Wanya Rees)
- Zama Mabaso (Shadi Chauke)
- Zelda Kingsley (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 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 reside. The Hillside Heights building is owned by Rickus Kingsley and Lesedi Moloi. Many a spookstory made its appearance in the building's alleys, and so often somebody gets locked-up in the store room by accident.
Charmaine Meintjies owns Oppiekoffie, which is a coffee shop located on the ground floor of the Hillside Heights building, directly opposite the Eclectic E boutique. Esti is the manager and the current waiters are Kopano and Gabby. Many of the young characters who worked there as waiters in the past: Amorey, Annelie, Bernard, Clara, Connie, Danielle, Dewaal, Dezi, Diederik, Kabelo, Kim, Liezl, Lucas, Monique, Nozi, Paula, Pieter, Tessa, Tumi and Zinzi.
- Eclectic E Boutique
Eclectic E is the local boutique located opposite Oppiekoffie. It is owned by former model Connie van der Lecq, and was previously owned by Felicity Daniels, a well-known fashion designer. It was closed down for a time when Felicity left, but it has since reopened. Khethiwe is the assistant. Past assistants were Alyce, Pulane, Irma, Paula, Annelie, Clara, Monique, Tessa, Vernon, Emile and Elaine. It is a popular meeting place for many of the females.
*The Hillside Deli The Deli was owned and managed by Vince Meintjies. Jerome, Bart, Vanessa, Matrone, Lukas, Bernard, Pieter, Hilda and Amorey used to work here at different times.
- The Hillside Bookshop
The bookshop is owned by Ryno Lategan and was formerly managed by 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, owned by Vanessa Meintjies. Justin and Aggie are organisers, and Bonita is the event stylist.
- 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), and now owned by Fikani Chauke. The Hillside Gym is located on the first floor of the building. Rickus and Marvin work in T&T as shop assistants. Lukas, Marko and Vanessa were previous 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 after-work recreation and relaxation venue in Hillside. Owned and run by Marko Greyling.
- The Welman House
This is a real, old time mansion, owned by DeWet Basson. It was previously owned by Madel Terreblanche and author Ryno Lategan, then by the Croukamps and the Welmans. It turns out to be a popular venue for house parties, fashion shows, book launches as well as wedding receptions. Evelina (an unseen character) was formerly the residence's cook, 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. Doctors Alexa Welman and Fikani Chauke work here. Romeo Peterson works there as a nurse and Tjattas Bothma is a paramedic.
The cafe' is located above Stasie Ses, and was built by Chris Welman as a replacement for the Hillside Deli. It is jointly owned by Chris' ex-wife Mariaan and former deli owner Vince Meintjies, and Ivy Peterson works as a chef. Previous waitresses were Esti, Olivia and Gabby. Ben also previously worked here, but was killed by the co-owner Mariaan Welman.
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)
References in popular culture
The show was referenced in the first episode of the Netflix original series, The Joel McHale Show with Joel McHale, in which McHale joked about a scene in an episode where one of the main characters calls one of the child guest stars, and calls the Afrikaans word for child, which sounds strikingly similar to the English swear word "cunt".
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