Mathilde Hanekom

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Mathilde Hanekom (1896-1976) was a pioneering Afrikaans stage, radio and film actress and drama teacher.

Also referred to as Mathilda Hanekom or Matilda Hanekom in some sources.


Born Mathilda de Beer in Beaufort West on December 9, 1896 and raised there, where she and her brother Thys de Beer became involved in local amateur dramatics. She also met Hendrik Hanekom there and they and married on 5th August in 1918.

Their daughter, Tilana Hanekom, also became an actress, and was married to actor and manager Eghard van der Hoven, who had also worked with them.

She passed away in Pretoria on December 29, 1976.

A biography of Hendrik and Mathilde called Die Spel Gaan Voort, Die Verhaal van Hendrik en Mathilde Hanekom was written by Anna Minnaar-Vos (Tafelberg-Uitgewers, 1969)

Theatre work

In 1925 they founded a travelling theatre group, the Afrikaanse Toneelspelers, the two of them often writing their plays and normally playing lead roles in all their the productions. When the company amalgamated with that of Paul de Groot in June 1926, she became a member of the new company, the Paul de Groot Toneelgeselskap.

Roles for them included Huis Toe (Südermann - 1926), As Mans Huishou (Jan van Ees - 1927), Gerieflike Huwelik (A. Dumas snr - 1927), Die Inbreker (Van Ees, 1927, toured by a second company led by Wena Naudé) and Besigheid is Besigheid (Octave Mirbeau, 1928). In March 1928 (Binge has 15 March 1929) the Hanekoms and De Groot parted company due to professional differences.

After 1947 she went on to work regularly for the newly founded National Theatre Organisation, beginning with a year-long tour with their bilingual company in 1948 (a company which included André Huguenet, Siegfried Mynhardt, Leon Gluckman, Frank Wise, Lorna Cowell, Vivienne Drummond and Enone van den Bergh). After that she continued working for NTO on various productions.

Stage Roles

Her many stage performances included roles in Nag het die Wind Gebring (1948/49), Oupa Brompie (1950), Candida (1950), The Ball at the Castle (1952), Ek Onthou vir Mamma (1954), Skrikkeljaar (1958).

Film work

Die Lig van 'n Eeu (1942, also credited with wardrobe), Ek Sal Opstaan (1959), Spore in die Modder (1961), Die Hele Dorp Weet (1961), Die Wonderwêreld van Kammie Kamfer (1965), and Vrolike Vrydag 13de (1969).


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