Listen: ‘Strandloper’ – a radio sequel

Henry

beach walker takes listeners to Blue Bay, a coastal town that people dream of, but that actually exists. This fictional town is loosely based on Stilbaai’s cultural-historical facts and real people that Bettie Kemp, writer and producer of the radio drama, remembers from this town as a child.

In Bloubaai you will find the characteristic blue bay, white waves that can get upset if the south-east blows, fresh air, fynbos, fishing harbor where the boats go out in good weather to catch cod, and a community that cares for each other. Sometimes too much, then the sparks fly. Beneath the calm surface, however, there are also tumults and old skeletons in closets that come up at impossible times to turn lives upside down.

Like Tannie Ouvrou’s past, which she tries to erase with her diligent hands, only to be reminded of it again and again by Strandloper. You will also find Uncle Fred and his shadow Whitefoot there. He fights against hotel boss Jack de Wet who tramples traditions in the name of progress. There’s a petition that’s trying to get off the ground, and it’s tearing the town apart.

Yet there are also things that bind them together. Not only is it Afrikaans’ centenary year, but also Blue Bay’s 100th anniversary, and this town is going to make a double celebration of it.

They do it in their own unique way with tears, salty as the sea, as they laugh and cry. Everyone participates. From the young Nicolien, Dylan, Bobbi and Strandloper, to Willie the harbormaster, Engela at her restaurant, Die Seekat, and Visstok at his garage.

However, this is not all that keeps the villagers busy. Beneath the blue waters lie the riches of the sea: precious abalone and shipwrecks that attract greedy hands. Herein lies one of the town’s best-kept secrets. Strandloper’s father died under mysterious circumstances, and everyone is silent about it. Still no one gives a damn.

beach walker, a radio serial of 120 episodes that reproduces life in all its forms and Afrikaans in all its richness, was written and performed by Bettie Kemp. Celebrities such as Luan Jacobs, Anton Dekker, Stefan Vermaak, RSG’s Ria Smit, presenter Su-an Müller-Marais, Johny Klein and Izel Bezuidenhout give life to Bloubaai’s characters.

Technical care was provided by Marius Vermaak and the sequel was recorded in RNews’s studio.

From Monday 13 May 2024, a new episode will be available to listen to every weekday. Listen to the episodes here on RNews or on one of the community radio stations broadcasting the drama.

  • Read the interview with Bettie Kemp beach walker on RNews. Make sure you don’t miss the video at the bottom of the article in which Bettie talks about the radio drama in RNnews’s studio.
  • Although beach walker is based on the author’s memories of Stilbaai, the characters are imaginary, and any resemblance to real persons is purely coincidental.