Monica Breed

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Monica Breed (1923-2021) was a well known and beloved radio actress, director and presenter, and a playwright.

Sometimes also credited as Monica Breedt.


Born Wilhelmina Monica Breed on 28 March 1923 in the town of Reitz in die Orange Free State, the daughter of Abraham Liebrecht Breed en Philippina Johanna Cornelia Loots. She matriculated in Reitz, then completed a BA degree and a teacher's diploma at the Potchefstroomse Universiteit vir Christelike Hoër Onderwys.

She spent the greatest part of her life working for the South African Broadcasting Corporation ([[SABC), ending up as head of the corporation's Sound Archives. She retired in the 1980s after 33 years of service, to continue working as a freelance artist for a while.

Due to her failing sight, she eventually had to cease doing that, and went to live in a retirement home in Pretoria, where she passed away on 25 May 2021.

Contribution to South African theatre, media, film and performance

After completing her studies, she joined the Afrikaans service of the South African Broadcasting Corporation ([[SABC) in 1947, and between 1949 and 1952 she travelled abroad, (mainly in Britain and Western Europe), also broadcasting from there. On her return to South Africa she worked in Cape Town as a language editor for Nasionale Boekhandel Beperk's book publishing section, before rejoining the SABC and from 1962 onwards worked as drama organiser for the Afrikaans service in Durban. She eventually became the manager of the SABC Sound Archives at the head office in Johannesburg, a facility which she took enormous trouble to develop and maintain.

Over the course of her career she was involved in various projects for radio, TV, film and stage.

Her first piece of dramatic writing was a play she and a friend wrote in her matric year for performance at the Matric Farewell Function.

Her writing for radio further encompassed a large range of fields, including writing and presenting numerous programmes for toddlers (often with Esmé Euvrard) and Afrikaans radio adaptations of most of the more familiar fairytales. She also wrote many serials and radio dramas, including one on the life of Emily Hobhouse[] and a well-known radio drama, Gee Mekaar die Regterhand ("Give each other the right hand"), which has appeared in three collections of one -act plays over the years.

In the early years she was also intimately involved with directing and performing in dramas for radio as well as the stage (the latter for amateur companies such as the Bloemfonteinse Teatergroep, the Kaapstadse Amateur Toneelgeselskap (KAT) and Die Skerm in Durban).

As a radio presenter, she was for many years responsible for the popular journal programme Vrouerubriek (lit. "Women's column") for the Afrikaans Service of the SABC, and also the presenter of a number of childrens' programmes.

She did a great deal of work for TV as well, for example she was the voice of "Piet Muis" in the iconic TV puppetry programme Haas Das se Nuuskas ("lit. Rabbit [with a] Tie's News Box") and did voice work for in the immensely popular cartoon series Liewe Heksie ("Dear little witch"). She also had roles in the TV drama series such as Phoenix & Kie[1] (playing "Donna van Zijl", a carer; 1979) and Cul-de-sac[2] (playing "Ouma Visser"; 1987).

Her film roles include Die Vlindervanger (1976).



Du Toit, P.J., 1988.

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