“This type of story has never been told in Afrikaans.” Koek director

By Rozanne Els30 April 2024

“This type of story has never been told in Afrikaans.” Koek director

You can binge all 10 episodes of the critically acclaimed crime comedy Koek on Showmax from this Thursday, 2 May 2024. 

When Cape Town housewife Christelle Smit discovers evidence her husband is having an affair with a stripper named Candi Floss, her investigation takes her to a world poles apart from the suburban utopia she knows.

Cindy Swanepoel as Christelle in Koek
Cindy Swanepoel as Christelle

Cindy Swanepoel, who won SAFTA and Silwerskerm awards last year as Annelize in Binnelanders, stars in Koek as Christelle, with screen legend Sandra Prinsloo as the brandy-drinking, cigar-smoking, leopard-print loving, kidney-stealing mob boss she’s soon in debt to.

Sandra Prinsloo as Moekie in Koek
Sandra Prinsloo as Moekie

As Leroy Marc raved on Kaya 959, “Koek had me at the edge of my seat… It’s really, really fun.” Or as Tat Wolfen put it on MixFM, Koek is “a gobsmacking rollercoaster ride.” 

Written by SAFTA and Silwerskerm-winning showrunner Christiaan Olwagen (Kanarie, Recipes for Love & Murder), the R18 DLNSV Showmax Original is directed and filmed by SAFTA and Silwerskerm -winning director and cinematographer Johannes Pieter Nel (Magda Louw, Die Tragiese Saak van Pamina Vermaak, Die Brug), whom Leon van Nierop described as “one of South Africa’s most promising young talents” in his rave review in Rapport.  

Rozanne Els caught up with him to find out more:

What were your first impressions of Christiaan’s script?

I don’t think Christiaan has ever written a weak script, and I immediately knew that this type of story had never been told in Afrikaans. This made me very excited. It’s funny, it’s sexy and it’s real. 

How did you decide on the cast?

Christiaan wrote the roles of Moekie and Lulu especially for Sandra (Prinsloo) and Ashley (de Lange), so that was easy.

Our big headache at the beginning was who would play Christelle, but Cindy Swanepoel immediately came to mind. I know Cindy from Stellenbosch drama days and I have always been aware of her incredible talents in drama and comedy. She also comes across as very relatable. 

I’d worked with Cindy on the second season of Magda Louw, which we filmed just before Koek, so I really couldn’t see anyone else in the role.

Was there anyone who impressed or surprised you in their role?

All the actors were exceptional, but I have to single out Llandi Beeslaar (Stefanie) and Clayton Evertson (Pitbull). 

Llandi Beeslaar as Stefanie in Koek
Llandi Beeslaar as Stefanie

Llandi probably had the most difficult role because her character has to come across as both tragic and funny. What made it even more difficult was that the character of Stefanie was originally written as a man, Fanie. In my opinion, she is one of the best actresses in the country. 

Clayton Evertson as Pitbull in Koek
Clayton Evertson as Pitbull

Clayton also has the exceptional ability to be incredibly compelling on screen without any dialogue, just with his presence.

How did you decide on the final narrative style?

From the outset, the biggest thing was that it had to be believable. The viewer must be able to believe that something like this can happen. This was also one of the reasons why I decided to move the story world from Cape Town to the northern suburbs.

The characters have to come across as grounded because the situations they find themselves in are ridiculous enough. So, if the viewer can relate to how the characters act and react, then it makes for comedy and drama.

We love the soundtrack

We asked Loki Rothman to make us some White Lotus-type tracks. We knew we wanted some Afrikaans club bangers, and he came up with ‘Piggyback Bitch’ and ‘Bellville voel soos Vegas’.

The music had to give the feeling that there is another, deeper, darker, and more exciting world, outside of the world that we know and are comfortable with. 

What are some of the most important or prominent themes in the series?

The theme of infidelity and how easily someone will give up a marriage of years for a few minutes of cheating. The dynamics between men and women – and specifically the role of women in not only marriage but also in society as a whole – was also important. Then, also, you should never underestimate yourself, because you can always surprise yourself with what you are capable of.

What stands out for you as a highlight of this project?

The comedy that pokes its head out here and there in this crazy world we’ve created.

I am just grateful that I can be part of a bunch of new storytellers who help push Afrikaans films and series in a new direction. 

I really love our industry and Afrikaans as a language, and we should never be afraid to tell any type of story in Afrikaans.

Watch the trailer for Koek

Watch Sami Hall react to stumbling on Koek


I am thoroughly entertained 🤭🤭🤭 Fall down the rabbit hole with me and check out Koek on @ShowmaxOnline for entertainment that, just to be clear, has nothing to do with baking! 🤣 Okay bye ™️ #SamiHallSays #okaybye #showmax #paidpartnership

♬ original sound – SamiHallSays

Binge Koek on Showmax from Thursday.

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