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Vyfster (lit. "five-star") is the title of an Afrikaans TV mini-series by Hennie Human

The general background

A well-made and popular series telling stories about people in jail, it soon began to focus on the key characters, most notably the devious figure of "Skollie", a character that not only spawned a film, but became the centre of much of the action.

There were two series: Vyfster and Vyfster 2 (or Vyfster II), as well as two films deriving from the series, Skollie[1] (1984) and Vyfster: Die Slot (1987)[2]

There is a very misleading and skimpy entry on the title Vyfster in Wikipedia[3], which suggests the texts for the entire Vyfster TV series were written by Johann Potgieter alone.

However, IMBd has it differently, correctly naming Hennie Human as the series author, with Potgieter involved as scriptwriter from series 2 onwards.

The first series (Vyfster, 1982)

Series was written by Hennie Human, directed by Regardt van den Bergh and produced by Lesley Mannell and Sias Odendaal.

The leading characters are played by George Ballot, At Botha, Paul Eilers, Danie Joubert, Patrick Mynhardt, Emgee Pretorius, Pierre Knoesen, Tromp Terre'blanche, Carel Trichardt and Marius Weyers.

Rest of cast consists of Casper Badenhorst, Cathy Beard, Linda Biddell, Johan Botha, Andries Cornelius, Lochner de Kock, Joey de Koker, Sann de Lange, Steffan Erikh, Margaret Fölscher, Christo Gerlach, Ryno Hattingh, Bettie Kemp, Kobus Kleynhans, Steve le Roux, Willem Loots, Dawie Malan, Louise Mollett-Prinsloo, Johan Niemandt, Daleen Otto, Nic Potgieter, Robin Smith, Friedrich Stark, Koos Strauss, Alwyn Swart, Flip Theron, Heine Toerien, Robert Travallyan, Dulcie van den Bergh, Philip Van der Byl, Alwyn van der Merwe, Selma van der Vyver, Brümilda van Rensburg, Wikus van Rensburg, and Nigel Vermaas.


Music by Lloyd Ross, cinematography by Johan Scheepers, film editing by Dee Liebenberg, Steven White and Jo Rosas, production management by Casper Badenhorst and Bev Orton, sound by Lloyd Ross and Karen Warnock, with final mix by Don Williamson.

The first film (Skollie, 1984)

Skollie[4] (1984) is an Afrikaans film written by Hennie Human and directed by Ivan Hall, assisted by Steven White. It was the first film spin-off from the series Vyfster and focused on the key character from the series, portrayed by George Ballot.

See Skollie (film)

The second series (Vyfster 2, 1986)

Usually referred to as Vyfster 2 (or Vyfster II) it is the sequel to the original, and the precursor to the film Vyfster: Die Slot

Produced by Lesley Mannell, Sias Odendaal and Albie Venter, written by Hennie Human (original story), Johann Potgieter, with contributions by Cobus Rossouw, and directed by Sias Odendaal, with Steven White as an assistant director.

The leading characters are again played by George Ballot, Patrick Mynhardt, Emgee Pretorius, Paul Eilers, Danie Joubert, Robin Smith, Pierre Knoesen, Carel Trichardt and Steffan Erikh.

Rest of cast consists of Rod Alexander, Casper Badenhorst, Norman Anstey, Douglas Bates, Cathy Beard, Will Bernard, Hannah Botha, Laurens Celliers, Christo Compion, Michael Conradie,Dan Craucamp, Pieter de Bruyn, Joey de Koker, Marius de Vos, Thys du Plooy, Annette Engelbrecht, Willem Engelbrecht, Cornelis Esterhuyse, Willie Fritz, Trajan Grobler, Tilana Hanekom, Konrad Hauptfleish, Peter Holden, Marie Human, Willie Jansen, Kobus Kleynhans, Ronelle Kriel, Pagel Kruger, Willem Loots, Louis Minnaar, Johan Niemandt, Werner Roberts,, Jonathan Ross, Johannes Slabbert, Willie Steyn, Hugo Taljaard , Barry Trengove and Dirk Vermeulen.


Music by Lloyd Ross, cinematography by André Pienaar, film editing by Jo Rosas, production management by Gavin Sweeney, sound by Bill Jacques and Karen Warnock, with final mix by Syd Knowles and Trevor Pitout. Make-up by Joanna Hazelton and Gabi Molnar; electricity, lighting and camera by Albert Botha, Selwyn Harvett, André Pienaar, Anton Van Rooyen and Emil Wessels; music edited by Dee Liebenberg; continuity by Lindsay Jayes; dialogue coach George Ballot; and publicity Stella du Toit, Carine Hartman, Maggie Odendaal and Suzette Pretorius.

The second film (Vyfster: Die Slot, 1986)

Vyfster: Die Slot ("five-star: the conclusion") was a feature film, made as a sequel to the series Vyfster 2.

The date of release given by various sources ranges wildly from 1985 (according to Wikipedia), 1986 (according to IMDb), 1987 (according to some databases) and even 1988 (according to Roy Armes in Dictionary of African Filmmakers). The date 1986 seems the likeliest.

For details of the film, see the entry on Vyfster: Die Slot





Beeld Plus, 6 April 2007.


Roy Armes. 2008. Dictionary of African Filmmakers, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, p.382[5]

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