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By Bonginkosi Tiwane

Digital Journalist

Vrystaatbewoners: Celebrating the often forgotten people of the Free State

Karoobewoners, Weskusbewoners and Laeveldbewoners are predecessors of Vrystaatbewoners, the ongoing docuseries on kykNET.

To thoroughly understand a place, it’s usually best to get to know its people first.

This is what kykNET docuseries Vrystaatbewoners has done in a bid to shine the light on the Free State province and its people.

“Every corner had a story waiting to be told. From the bustling streets of urban centres and small towns to serene stretches of farmland,” said director of the series, Ian Martin.

The 13 episode documentary which its title can be translated into ‘Free State Residents’,  premiered on the first Thursday of April.

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Everyday heroes

The series takes viewers through the day-to-day lives of people in the Free State.

One of those is the story of Joseph Potsane who is known as the pothole killer in that neck of the woods.

Potsane walks the 100 km road between Bultfontein and Bloemfontein with a wheelbarrow, making the route safe for its users.

Marietjie Crowther, a lady who gave up a career in finance to make cheese is another story which the series zooms-into.

 “Vrystaatbewoners is more than just a documentary series – it’s a journey of discovery and compassion – a celebration of the human spirit,” added Martin.

Vrystaatbewoners is part of a travel series of documentaries by the channel, which shines the spotlight on parts of the country which don’t usually get noticed or places where people often drive through, not to.

Last year kykNET celebrated the Lowveld region with the 13-part series Laeveldbewoners, which made its debut in January 2023. Prior to that, the channel had the Karoobewoners and Weskusbewoners series.

Throughout the series, kykNET collaborated with insurer BrightRock.

“With Vrystaatbewoners and its predecessors – Karoobewoners, Weskusbewoners and Laeveldbewoners – we celebrate change and tell the beautiful stories of people who live in regions of South Africa that are often overlooked,” averred Deputy CEO of BrightRock, Suzanne Stevens.

“We hope viewers will enjoy and appreciate the history and cultural diversity of the people of the Free State, and that they will be inspired by their remarkable stories of change.”

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