News agency, Cape Town, South Africa
Tuesday October 17th 2017

Tutu becomes a TV-show tour guide

Steve Kretzmann

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu starts off a new ten-part TV series about South Africa on Table Mountain. . Photo: WCNArchbishop Desmond Tutu has become a tour-guide and narrator in a ten-part television series about South Africa, with its international release set to coincide with the FIFA 2010 World Cup.

South Africans without DSTV, however, could have to wait some time before being able to watch their home-grown Nobel Laureate touring the country in his bright purple ecclesiastical robe, as the rights to screen The South African Story with Archbishop Desmond Tutu in South Africa have not yet been sold.

Starting in the Western Cape before moving onto the other eight provinces, the series begins with Tutu standing on top of Table Mountain at dawn, arms akimbo.

Tutu says: “When God created the earth and all living things, he sat back and admired his handiwork. Then, I believe, he looked at the southernmost tip of Africa, where the two great oceans meet, and said, ‘Mmmm… I should do something special here.’ And he took the mountains and the oceans and the plants and the animals and created a southern gateway fitting for the most vibrant, most diverse, most exciting, most wonderful continent in all the world.”

The series weaves together disparate threads in the country’s history and culture across across nine 30-minute episodes, each located largely within the borders of one of the country’s nine provinces. A tenth 60-minute episode brings the provinces together in a single programme.

The series is being produced in Cape Town by veteran journalists Roger Friedman and Benny Gool, together with former activist and diplomat, now businessman, Barend Hendricks, and a United States financier who has donated his shares in the enterprise to the Desmond Tutu Peace Centre in Cape Town.

Rights to distribute the series worldwide have been sold to Imagina TV in Madrid, Spain and re:think Entertainment Inc in Canada, said Hendricks.

Asked about whether locals would see the series, Friedman said the Africa rights had not yet been sold, although the History Channel was interested.

“We’d hate for it not to be broadcast here,” he said.

You might be able to see it if you’re flying home on SAA though, as Gool said South African Airways had been engaged with a view to screening the series on inward-bound flights to South Africa leading up to and during the World Cup.

Hendricks said with more than 100 territories having expressed interest at the annual television market at Cannes in April, it is “a massive postive injection for Brand South Africa, as an accompaniment to and after the World Cup.”

The series, filmed between December 2009 and April 2010, took Archbishop Tutu to seminal locations across South Africa – from the banks of the Limpopo River in the far North East, to the top of Table Mountain in the South West.

As a leading participant in the anti-apartheid struggle, and then as the chairperson of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Archbishop Tutu has seen and heard more stories than most on his travels through the country.

While the high definition cinematography showcases the natural beauty of the country, from the Golden Gate to the Wild Coast and the soaring peaks of the Drakensberg Mountains, The South African Story with Archbishop Tutu is more about the human factor, stories about the people who bestrode these places.

“We are all inter-connected. All of us, in God’s beautiful global home,” the Archbishop intones in Episode One, in the Western Cape. Later, after touring the Cradle of Humankind, he refines the message, proclaiming, “We are all Africans!” throwing his arms up in the air. – West Cape News

Tags: FIFA 2010 World Cup, tutu

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One Response to “Tutu becomes a TV-show tour guide”

  1. TV Africa says:

    We are researching the idea of having a blog, how did you get your blog this poular? : Tutu becomes a TV-show tour guide | West Cape News :-)

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