- SABC2 soapie 7de Laan has paid tribute to Dr Sindi van Zyl.
- The much-loved doctor made several appearances in the show in season 20 when it ran an HIV storyline.
- "Doctor Sindi walked into our boardroom with the biggest smile on her face," said Martina Theunissen, 7de Laan storyliner.
7de Laan has paid tribute to Dr Sindi van Zyl in an episode aired on Wednesday.
The much-loved medical doctor and Kaya FM host died on 10 April after losing her battle against Covid-19.
In 2019, season 20 of the SABC2 soapie 7de Laan ran a storyline around HIV in which the character Diederik (Hennie Jacobs) contracted the disease as a result of reckless drug abuse.
Dr Sindi consulted on the research and also went on to make several appearances in the show, which reinforced the authenticity of the information being shared.
"Dr Sindi walked into our boardroom with the biggest smile on her face. Her excitement to consult with us and share her knowledge was evident. She opened our eyes to the virus in a way that we would have never been able to find online. She answered all our questions with patience and a kindness that is rare to find," recalled Martina Theunissen, 7de Laan storyliner.
"She excitedly told us that her in-laws religiously watched 7de Laan and that she could not wait to tell them about today."
"Doctor van Zyl was the consummate professional. She openly shared her home and professional life with followers where one could get a sense of a well-round individual. She embodied excellence and was compassionate with a unique zest for life. This is indeed a great loss for our country," added Thandi Ramathesele, executive producer of 7de Laan.
Even though the soapie is filmed three months ahead because Dr Sindi was an integral part of the show, they had to honour her.
In the scene, news of Dr Sindi's death is the cover story on the Oggendblad; Marko (Francois Lensley), who is the cousin of Diederik, sees the story and calls him to tell him the sad news.
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"We thank Dr Sindi's family for allowing her to share her time generously with all of us. We trust you will find solace in the profound impact she had on everyone who came to know her.
"We encourage South Africans to honour Doctor Sindi van Zyl's memory through lending a helping hand wherever they can and to practice kindness and compassion wherever they go," reads a statement from the soapie.