Exciting news: ’n New drama series, Dinge van ’n kind, will start on kykNET (DStv channel 144) on Tuesday the 10th of May 2022 at 20:00. The series is based on the novel Die Dinge van ‘n Kind by the popular, prize-winning author Marita van der Vyver.
This series of ten episodes revolves around the trials and tribulations of Mart Vermaak. The disillusionment of her coming-of-age years takes place against the political upheavals of the late 1970s, but an older Mart finds herself in a different kind of predicament.
In the novel, Die Dinge van ’n Kind, readers get to know Mart both as a teenager and as an ex-pat in her thirties, living in London. The TV series, however, also shows Mart as an older woman who returned to South Africa permanently.
Van der Vyver is enthusiastic about the show: “My books have been made into plays and movies before, but this is the first time one of my novels has been turned into a TV series. I’m as excited about it as any first time can make even an old writer like me feel.”
Die Dinge van ‘n Kind was published in 1994. There were two print runs of the first hardcover edition, and another three reprints of the paperback edition between 2005 and 2011, followed by a new paperback edition in 2016. The novel has been translated into English, Dutch, and German.
In the 90s, playwright Harry Kalmer adapted the book into an eponymous play for the KKNK arts festival. The novel was also staged as a one-woman show in 2019, with Cintaine Schutte playing Mart. The script for this version was written by Francois Toerien. Alexa Strachan was the producer.
In the TV series, Mart is portrayed by three different actors in various stages of her life: Melissa Myburg, Cintaine Schutte, and Susanne Beyers. The cast also includes Jana Kruger, André Weideman, Andahr Cotton, Deànré Reiners, Wilhelm van der Walt, Quanita Adams, Zenobia Kloppers and Ludwig Binge. With Die Dinge van ’n Kind, Mienke Ehlers and Augusta Zietsman landed their first major TV roles – Mienke plays the rebel Daleen, and Augusta stars as Suna.
The themes that run through the book and stage adaptations are also the backbone of the TV series. In an interview with the website LitNet, Schutte said of her one-woman show: “Although Die Dinge van ’n Kind is set in the 1970s, it is still relevant. It captures timeless struggles with being a teenager, hormones, growing up, and friendship. I think the biggest question everyone asks themselves is a question central to the book and its stage adaptation: ‘Who am I, and where do I belong?’
“I didn’t grow up in the 1970s; I was still a child in the 1990s, but after I had read the book, I realized it doesn’t matter whether you were a teenager in the ’70s or whether you’re a teenager in 2085 – you are going to go through the same stuff.”
Dinge van ’n Kind is produced by Nagvlug Films (Wonderlus, Skemerdans, Nêrens, Noord-Kaap). Elanie Rupping and Henriëtta Gryffenberg wrote the script.
Van der Vyver looks forward to sharing her story with a wider audience: “Almost 30 years after Die Dinge van ‘n Kind [Childish Things] was published, it has become the things of all of us. That brings me joy.”
Dinge van ’n Kind airs Tuesdays at 20:00 from 10 May 2022 on kykNET (DStv channel 144).