Onder die Suiderkruis (Under the Southern Cross) is a South African, Afrikaans-language period drama television series which tells the story of a number of entrepreneurs thrown together by their quest for riches, told over a period of many years.
Their entrepreneurial skills include selling hamburgers or koeksisters at the food market to knitting scarves for a fashion boutique, or running an IT business from home, or making million dollar deals on the open market, or simply playing a musical instrument.
This is the background to a story of complicated and delicate relationships of love, envy, tension and care.
The series features wholesome families who measure their wealth in the love and care of one another.
The Tredoux Family
Portrayed by Anton Dekker as Andries, Stian Bam as Stephen, Christia Visser as Jane and Michele Burgers as Trunette
Andries is the autocratic head of the family, controlling everything and everybody with an iron hand. He is a vice-principal at the local high school, runs a tuck shop and has a permanent stand at the weekly street market.
Trunette is the loyal and obedient wife who slaves away in the kitchen over a hot stove to ensure that her husband Andries has enough stock for the tuck shop and street market.
Stephen grew up in a household involved with school tuckshops and street markets. He showed an intense interest in the family's endeavours to bring in extra money from an early age. He is the protector of his mother and sister.
Jane is a sulky and moody child, but she is strong-willed and always asks the difficult questions in the household, at the same time causing havoc with her impulsive whims.
The Normington Family
Portrayed by Lee-Ann van Rooi as Mary and Brendon Daniels as Jazz
Jazz plays the sax in a band that performs night after night in a beach hotel. He is a happy go lucky chap who loves to play poker and is totally absorbed in his music.
Mary is a primary school teacher who believes she has more mature pupils in her Standard 4 class than her husband. She constantly worries about everything, causing minor tiffs with Jazz.
But under the surface of all the bickering, the Normingtons love and adore one another.
The Smithyman Household
Portrayed by Tinarie van Wyk-Loots as Skye and Deon Lotz as Donny
Donny owns a massive farm in die Karoo where he also has a private diamond mine. His business commitments regularly take him on trips abroad. As a single parent he dotes on his only child, Skye.
Skye was brought up from an early age with private teachers and tutors on the Karoo farm "Granietfontein". Academically she is light years ahead of her peers... but that does not guarantee equal emotional development...
Skip Gouws, played by Alyzzander Fourie, is Donny's right-hand man, farm manager and confidante; he is trusted with all the delicate tasks a mega businessman like Donny Smithyman demands.
Onder die Suiderkruis was created by Johan van Jaarsveld and is produced for Scene Setters TV Produksies by van Jaarsveld and Dini Nondumo, with supervising producer Marianne de Klerk. The writers include van Jaarsveld, Ilse Oppelt and Johan Liebenberg. The director is Elizabeth Archer.
The series was shot on location in Stellenbosch, Western Cape.