Iconic TV journalist Ruda Landman is back on pay-TV from this Sunday evening doing revealing and truly must-see interviews – not on M-Net's Carte Blanche but on kykNET (DStv 144) in a fascinating new series, VeranderDinge at 18:00.
Widely regarded as South Africa's most respected TV journalist, the veteran Ruda Landman got access to a formidable group of well-known South African personalities in the new series, with sit-down interviews in which they all open up and talk for the first time on television about life-altering moments and decision which changed their lives.
In VeranderDinge [Change Things] Ruda Landman, trusted by viewers and known for her empathic interviewing skills, achieves something remarkable: getting often-guarded A-listers to open up about pivotal life-changing events, moments and decisions – exactly the kind of personal, and often painful, things they don’t want to talk about and haven't been willing to share.
Famous names from Amy Kleynhans-Curd, Nianell, Pieter-Dirk Uys, Shaleen Surtie-Richards, to Graeme Smith, Helen Zille, Liesl Laurie and several others sit down and share intimate details about life-changing events in their lives in this series.
From dealing with divorce, poverty, anorexia, drug abuse to the pain of losing a parent and fame, the well-known South Africans share the changes in their lives and how it not only shaped and changed them, but also altered their perspective on life.
Kim Cloete also interviews personalities ranging from Jackie Burger to Marc Lottering as well as interviewing ordinary South Africans who are going through, and who are making profound changes.
The aim of VeranderDinge is to help inspire viewers to think differently about things like careers, finances, personal development, relationships, their families, health and appearances.
'You have to really listen'
"It is 8 years since I've left Carte Blanche. And you know, journalism takes you out of your box. We are born and grow up in boxes," says Ruda Landman.
"You live with, and your parents' friends are, and your friends at school are, like yourself. They look like you, they speak the same language, they sing the same songs, they eat the same food on Sunday, they shout for the same team. And you are comfortable with them because they are like you. So you stay with them."
"And you can easily spend you whole life in a box with people who are like you. But journalism makes you go out and sit with other people who are different. And you have to really listen, otherwise you don't really get the story," says Ruda Landman.
"In the process, all the little boxes in your own head are upended. It definitely happened in my life. When I left Carte Blanche that is really the only thing that I missed: the exposure to other people's worlds and realities and the way they see life and the way they experience it."
"The other thing that journalism gives you is a licence to ask questions. Some of the questions I get to ask in VeranderDinge are not questions you can just ask suddenly over the table. But you get a kind of platform; people allow you to."
"And the fantastic thing about VeranderDinge is that people come onboard having agreed to talk about the change moments in their lives, which are part radical. It takes the conversation to another level," says Ruda Landman.
"Shaleen Surtie-Richards, with her mom passing away – there's the moment where you ask the question and then you’re listening, your attention, your being there, creates a moment where she changes. And the fact that she trusted me enough to cry and not say 'cut' but let it go, makes it special."
"Shaleen is very camera concious, she knew exactly what was happening, and she's willing to go there. And it's an enormous compliment," says Ruda Landman. "In the process we get great television. I'm so enjoying it, and I'm enjoying the renewed exposure to the wider world."
Changes on kykNET
"As a channel, kykNET is also going through a lot of changes," says commissioning editor, Alicia Geldenhuys.
"We're saying goodbye to a soap that's been on for more than 10 years. We're saying hello to a new soap. We're revamping a channel – one of our kykNET channels is getting a little make-over, and its so fitting that this show VeranderDinge is coming in to this."
"We're changing together and we're very happy to have Ruda back on television and it's going to be magic."
"It's intimidating working with Ruda Landman … I can't lie to you," said Alan Ford, executive producer and director of VeranderDinge.
"You always think to yourself – and I'm not being funny – but when you sit with Ruda you think 'Did you pay your taxes?', 'Did you have an affair?'. She's a brilliant and genius TV presenter."