Land of Thirst is a three-part South African mini-series created by Meg Rickards, based on Perceval Gibbon’s 1911 novel Margaret Harding, produced by Vuleka Productions and set in the Karoo in 1913, which is an historical romance about a black man and a white woman who fall in love in a society that won't tolerate it.
It was the first of four South African mini-series that began airing on SABC2 on Tuesdays at 19h30, from 29 January 2008. The others are Riemvasmaak, Huis van Liefde and Malan en Kie.
Land of Thirst premiered on SABC2 on Tuesday 29 January 2008, at 19h30. There were three one-hour episodes, aired weekly.
A historical romance set in the Karoo in 1913, the series is a love story about two people far ahead of their time, caught in the crosscurrents of emergent South Africa.
It is 1913 when Margaret Harding and Khanyiso Phalo independently leave England and travel to South Africa.
Margaret seeks treatment for her tuberculosis at a sanatorium in the dry air of the Karoo. Khanyiso is the son of a Xhosa chief who was imprisoned on Robben Island some 20 years before. He was taken as a young teenager to London by the British colonial powers, where he trained as a medical doctor.
Now Khanyiso has returned to his Xhosa village to find out what happened to his father and to serve his people.
Margaret moves into a decrepit sanatorium run by the alcoholic Dr Jakes and his mean-spirited wife, with a few other TB patients from England.
Khanyiso is forced to stay in a brothel after every single guesthouse turns him away because he's a black man who speaks the Queen’s English.
Khanyiso and Margaret meet on their arrival at the Karoo train station and discover that they have a lot in common.
Young Paul, an Afrikaans farm boy who has dreams of being a sculptor, acts as their go-between in arranging secret meetings because their relationship across the colour line is unacceptable to white society.
Khanyiso and Margaret fall passionately in love, but this is a love that puts them both at risk for their lives.
The notorious South African Natives Land Act is about to be passed by the white-run parliament and Khanyiso is drawn into his people’s struggle for their ancestral land.
He is accused of sedition by the police who try to hunt him down, so he's forced to leave his people and his beloved Margaret, and go into hiding.
Land of Thirst was produced by Vuleka Productions and commissioned for SABC2 by Rosa Keet.
Director: Meg Rickards
Written By: Meg Rickards
Producer: Julie Frederikse
Producer: Madoda Ncayiyana
Director of Photography: Willie Nel
Art Director: Ashleigh Tobias
Editor: Jenny Hicks
Composer: Neo Muyanga