Photo Credit: Supplied

There’s a new docuseries waiting to be tucked into! A celebration of the people of the Free State who embody so much of the same grit and beauty as their home, ‘Vrystaatbewoners’ might just inspire you to take a trip:


Free State, South Africa (16 April 2024) — A new docuseries produced by kykNET and BrightRock, part of the latest offering of the ‘Bewoners’ series is out and ready to be tucked into for anyone curious about the lives, stories and experiences of other South Africans. Vrystaatbewoners is here to shine a spotlight on the hidden gems of the Free State and the extraordinary individuals who call it home.

From Fauresmith to Smithfield, Hoopstad to Modderpoort and everywhere in between, the Vrystaatbewoners share their inspiring stories of change, love, adaptability, and triumph.

Why the Free State?

The Free State is a province of extremes. Seemingly empty plains make way for rocky outcrops and majestic peaks that hide fertile valleys and patches of paradise. Clear blue skies are suddenly filled with angry black clouds and rumbling thunder drowns out birdsong in seconds. Breathing in the Free State leaves every sense heightened and stimulated.

The same can be said of its people who are as caring and soft-hearted as they are tough and tenacious. What shines through in each of the Vrystaatbewoners featured in the series is their deep-rooted resilience, an ability to pull up their socks and make their piece of the world a better place. Their passion to leave a lasting legacy, in spite of very real challenges, is inspiring and heart-warming.

What can Viewers Look Forward to From Vrystaatbewoners?

Ian Martin, the director of the series, who has his own connection to the Free State, having been born and raised in the province, says, “each episode is a tribute to the resourcefulness of Free Staters. Every corner had a story waiting to be told. From the bustling streets of urban centres and small towns to serene stretches of farmland. Vrystaatbewoners is more than just a documentary series – it’s a journey of discovery and compassion – a celebration of the human spirit”.

Vrystaatbewoners takes us on a journey through the heart of South Africa. Audiences can expect to be captivated by the enigmatic souls that call the Free State home. Their lives mirror the province’s essence – abundant in generosity, strength, and unexpected beauty. Through their eyes, we explore their work and family dynamics, the daily battles they face and witness the unyielding spirit that define the people of this remarkable province.

We get to know people like Joseph Potsane – “the pothole killer” – who walks the road between Bultfontein and Bloemfontein with a wheelbarrow, making the route safer for all. We meet Marietjie Crowther, who gave up a career in finance to make cheese and artist, Willem Pretorius, whose paintings breathe new life into forgotten places and abandoned spaces.

The series opens a window into the everyday lives of the Vrystaatbewoners and leaves us wanting more, realising that the Free State should be a place to drive to, not just through … The open arms and hearts of its dwellers inspire us to make positive changes in our own lives and to take the hands of our neighbours to create a lasting impact to benefit generations to come.

Viewers can watch Vrystaatbewoners every Thursday evening from 4 April at 21:30 on kykNET (DStv channel 144), with episodes also available on DStv Catch Up and DStv Stream.

Sources: Supplied 
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About the Author

Ashleigh Nefdt is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Ashleigh's favourite stories have always seen the hidden hero (without the cape) come to the rescue. As a journalist, her labour of love is finding those everyday heroes and spotlighting their spark - especially those empowering women, social upliftment movers, sustainability shakers and creatives with hearts of gold. When she's not working on a story, she's dedicated to her canvas or appreciating Mother Nature.

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