Sarie Marais

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"Sarie Marais" can refer to:

1. a traditional South African folk song (ca 1880-1900),

2. a children's operetta (1933/1950)

3. two South African films (one released in 1931 the other in 1949),

4. an iconic women's magazine (1949-).

Sarie Marais: The song

Also known as "My Sarie Marais", the song seems to have originated at some time during the course of the two wars fought against the British in South Africa, the song has become a singularly well-known cultural symbol in various ways, occurring in numerous forms in cultural projects and performances.

For more on the song and its influence, see the Wikipedia entry at

Sarie Marais: the operetta

A children's operetta, written by F.W. Boonzaier (1901-1963), consisting of six scenes and intended for a cast of 45 children. The songs are based on traditional Afrikaans songs with new lyrics by the author.

The text was first published by HAUM in 1933 and again in 1950.

Sarie Marais: the films

Sarie Marais (1931)

The first South African sound film, it was a short, ten-minute black and white film, shot in Johannesburg and directed by Joseph Albrecht, with music supplied by the singer Chris Blignaut and the Melodians. Set in a British prisoner of war camp, the film concentrates on a group of Boer prisoners as they pass the time under the watchful eye of their British guards. One of the internees, played by Billy Matthews, lifts his voice in song with the popular Afrikaans patriotic tune "My Sarie Marais", inspiring the other prisoners of war and giving them hope for the future.

It was this film that led to the establishment of the Afrikaans film production organisation known as RARO (the Reddingsdaad-Bond Amateur Rolprent Organisasie.

Sarie Marais (1949)

This is a remake of the 1931 film, again titled Sarie Marais.

Produced by C. Francis Coley for Unifilms, scripted by André de Villiers and directed by Francis Coley, with Johann Nell, Helen Faul, Anna Cloete, Henri van Wyk, Wena Naudé, James Norval, Twinkle Hanekom, Jan Brill, Daniel du Toit, Monica Hyne Pieter Greeff, B. McArthur and C.J. Hattingh (Narrator). Also appearing uncredited are accordionist Nico Carstens and band leader Hendrik Susan.

Cinematography by A.L. Bennett and Sven Persson, edited by A.L. Bennett with Betsie van der Walt, set decoration by Lorna Kell, assistant director S. Bothomley, sound W. Parkes and D.H. Payne, visual effects by Arthur Bennett, wardrobe G. Verster, music selection by E.M. Coley, Boere musiek by Hendrik Susan en sy Orkes and technical assistance by R.R. Berry.

The film first released in South Africa on 2 May 1949 in Pretoria, followed by additional premeieres on 9 May 1949 in Durban and 16 May 1949 simultaneously in Cape Town and in Johannesburg.

Sarie Marais: the magazine

Founded in 1949, it was an Afrikaans magazine that focused on the female market, with content that covered fashion, decor, beauty, relationship advice, family planning and related matters. The magazine also published numerous stories by Afrikaans authors over the years.

It later streamlined the name, being simply called Sarie[1].


Copy of a catalogue (handwritten by various hands) of the F.C.L. Bosman collection held at the Nasionale Afrikaanse Letterkunde Museum en Navorsingsentrum (NALN) in Bloemfontein.

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