Millions to view Mhlopeni in TV series

2015-04-30 13:59
Members of the crew in the Mhlopeni valley.Photo: dean demos

Members of the crew in the Mhlopeni valley.Photo: dean demos

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IN an exciting development Mhlopeni, Muden, featured as the base for the filming of a reality TV production Mothers and Daughters, a popular­ Euro Television series with several million viewers.

Two sessions were filmed in the Mhlopeni valley telling of a group of mothers and daughters (real, not actors) who become separated in a and#034;wildernessand#034; situation and through a series of survival type experiences are reunited as they realise the value of inter-personal relationships. Trail guides from the Wilderness Leadership school guided them explaining the concept of uBuntu and the traditional ways of resolving family conflicts.

Joy Alcock of Mhlopeni told the Greytown Gazette that as the production team was too large to accommodate at their bush camp, half stayed at a nearby game lodge and the South African crew at Mhlopeniand#039;s UmPhafa camp. Two days before the film crew arrived the Muden road was closed with rocks and trenches in the service delivery protest which lasted almost three weeks.

This meant the crew had to shuttle the long way round Keateand#039;s Drift which really exhausted the drivers and their passengers who were not used to a hard dayand#039;s filming under the hot African sun to the extent that heat exhaustion and tick bite fever started to take its toll.

Three meals a day for 20 days were required. Joy says and#034;this was a logistical impossibility for my little kitchen with limited freezer facilities, at the very hottest time of the year.and#034; So a second-hand gas freezer and a camp-fire cuisine specialist from Pietermaritzburg was arranged to spread the workload. Catering efforts were appreciated, with no wastage (thanks to Dotty, the household pig).

Blue Circle, the overseas production crew and the local Kaap Film productions crew, obtained fantastic footage and hopefully the eight mothers and their teenage daughters who participated benefited from the experience, to heal broken relationships.

All round it was a positive exercise - Mhlopeni will get huge promotional exposure in Europe and also got to keep the deep freezer, bedding and some of the stage props provided for future visitor usage. The local community benefited from a substantial cash injection to local suppliers of goods and services

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