We are filming a South African small town talent show called ‘Showville’ for local telly. We’re a crew of about thirty, self-driving a convoy of 9 vehicles around south Africa for 7 straight weeks. Fourteen episodes!
Maryke is the production manager and has the unenviable task of nurturing this peculiar organism referred to as a film crew during all this time.
Maryke, we need a better Town Hall. Maryke, we need 3 more vehicles. Maryke, when are we eating? Maryke, our toilets won’t flush. Maryke, where’s our luggage? Maryke there’s no Halal food again. Maryke our room is haunted. Maryke our shower is too hot. Maryke our laundry is missing. Day in and out, non-stop!
You could usually tell how Maryks’s day was going by how crazy her hair was looking and by the colour of her cheeks. For the initiated, a flailing hair bun and bright red cheeks meant: just give me a lighter and don’t ask any more questions.
We are all gatvol and moeg at the end of an exceptionally long day of filming. Maryke shuttles a load of us to the hotel with the convoy of 8 vehicles in tow. To ease the crew’s settling in Maryke had personally handed a remote and key to each crew member during the course of the day, and had our luggage delivered to our respective rooms long before we’d even get there. Even on an exceptional day arriving, parking, checking in, unpacking and getting a crew to dinner (and the bar, there better be a bar, Maryke!) is a test of any PM’s resolve.
“Maryke go for Travis.” we hear on the radio just as the Welcome sign of the hotel greets our headlights.
“Come in to me Travis” she replies in her unusual way.
“We’re at the lodge but our remote won’t open the gate?”
“Which gate are you at? There is multiple ones.”
Maryke was ‘n Afrikaanse plaasmeisie. She could “I are” and “They is” with the best of us boertjies, but what set her apart was her ability to construct unique and hilarious words as and when required. Having a laugh with her on the radio could always lift your spirit and was a favoured hobby of our road weary crew.
Quick to spot the gap, the boys all fall in on cue one after the other over their handsets:
“Maryke go for Collen”
“Maryke go for Rob”
“Maryke go for Mark”
“Maryke go for Anwar”
“Maryke go for Kwezi”
“Maryke go for Ricardo”
“Maryke our remotes aren’t opening the gates.”
Co-piloting her in the minivan that evening, she turned to me flabbergasted and blurted out: “This situation is totally fuckulated!”
I agree, Maryks. Rest in peace. 14-06-2019