Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Vinette Ebrahim slams 7de Laan after Charmaine’s forced exit when producers told the actress her character had no more story: 'They should get better writers!'

Vinette Ebrahim, for decades known as the character of Charmaine in SABC2's 7de Laan, is slamming the soap after producers told her they've run out of stories for her character, with the beloved actress saying it's the weakest excuse ever and that they should have hired better writers.

After no longer being good enough for 7de Laan, Vinette is jumping to rival Afrikaans soap Binnelanders on kykNET (DStv 144) where she will start on 7 November, for a 6-week guest appearance role.

The character of Charmaine who've been a part of 7de Laan since the first episode on SABC2 on 4 April 2000 bowed out on 24 October after Danie Odendaal Production shocked in July by announcing that another veteran actor's contract wasn't renewed in an ongoing exodus of talent from the long-running weekday Afrikaans soap.

"In long-running television series, it often happens that a character's journey comes to an end. After evaluating past and current storylines of 7de Laan it has transpired that all potential stories around Charmaine and Vivian have been exhausted," the production said in its July statement.

The shock-decision left fans aghast and shocked, especially since it came after the exit of Pierre van Pletzen (Oubaas), the exit of Annelisa Weiland (Hilda) and other stalwart actors like Theodore Jantjies who have been shown the door or decided to pack it in.

While the production said in July that "the time has however come for her to bow out with grace and flair" in relation to the Charmaine character, it turns out that Vinette's exit wasn't that gracious behind the scenes, with the actress who is sounding off about her departure in the latest 30 October issue of Kuier magazine that is on sale now.

In the cover article, Vinette unburdens for the first time about being forced to start a new chapter of her life, aged 62, in South Africa's cut-throat entertainment and TV industry and how emotional she felt when she was told she no longer has a job on the SABC2 soap.

About her abrupt 7de Laan exit Vinette tells Kuier that "it's been coming for a while" but is unwilling to share more specific details.

"There was a long run-up and I had a feeling that something was about to happen. But to say that there were no more storylines for Charmaine made me laugh out loud. It's the weakest excuse ever. Then get better writers!"

"I'm not someone to stay silent," she tells Kuier. "They asked me to stop commenting on Facebook, but I said that I comment in my private capacity. I don't cuss and I never spoke ill of other people or 7de Laan."

She tells the magazine that her first 15 years with the soap was her happiest time. She says she misses Ingrid Paulus (Vanessa), Hildegardt Whites (Bonita), Christo Davids (Errol) and Theodore Jantjies (Xander).

"I miss them all terribly, as well as the people who did my hair and make-up. I miss them so much and it makes me so sad. It's 19 years of my life that's just suddenly gone ..."

She started to panic when 7de Laan told Vinette that she's out of a job because she still has bills and a bond to pay. She's careful when it comes to spending but she had to look even more carefully after every cent.

She tells Kuier that "I still have a bond to pay and my first thoughts after I got axed was that I might have to sell my house and move to Cape Town. I have three dogs and two cats to look after and my partner Ivan is jobless."

Danie Odendaal Productions in a media enquiry was asked for comment about Vinette's magazine interview but didn't respond.

You can read the full interview with Vinette in Kuier.