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Detective Inspector Winston Maake

Why was Maake assigned to this case? Was it to get him away from something else? This remains a mystery until deep into the series. Miems refers to him as a ‘fish out of water’ – which is true inasmuch as he has little connection with the cultures or languages of the valley. Despite this, Maake seems to be a dedicated policeman, and certainly more astute than meets the eye.

Maake has a fondness for The Ink Spots, and for hamburgers. He has no appetite for physical exertion. (Too much of all three has him dreaming of being a tropical-suited singer in the group. [He really needs to pay these more attention for their trail of embedded clues]).

Miems Joubert

Miems owns and ably runs the only remaining commercial farm in the valley. Stretching her own metaphor, it may be said of Miems that ‘still waters run deep’. But that is not entirely true as she certainly speaks her mind when she wants to… even enhancing truth where she deems it needed.

She is a deeply suspicious character who answers her door bearing a shotgun. But this is mostly because she doesn’t trust the endless retinue (+- one per episode) of mature suitors that come knocking. It may even be that Maake himself takes a fruitless risk in a later episode.

Miems tries not to speak of Bonaparte, the ex-husband who left abruptly.

Jakkalsbos Nature Farm

Jakkalsbos was originally part of Miems’ Vreemdeling farm, but sold off by her indigent and banished brother Tobie. The latest owners, Skye and Miles de Botton-Wiltshire are attempting to market spiritual-enlightenment getaways amongst the wildflowers and quiver trees. The couple try not to exhibit the marital stresses caused by his tenuous business venture established on the proceeds of the sale of her late father’s stake in a flourishing e-commerce company. Where the couple are as tight-lipped as possible, their ten-year-old daughter, Thyme, does have a tendency to ask just the right questions at precisely the wrong moment… exacerbating the family tensions.


(A budget-permitting option has a Norwegian financier bailing out the Wiltshires, but keeping them on as management. The type of plan he has for profit is by broadening their portfolio of wellness offerings: a nudist resort for instance.)

Outa Hannes


Outa Hannes is an ebullient character amongst the farmworkers of the ‘parallel route’. He likes nothing more than to sit on his narrow veranda and stir chills amongst the local kids and drunkards with surreal songs that mash-up traditional legends with the mysterious goings-on in the valley today. He accompanies these lyrics with his own ‘optel en knyp’ slide guitar technique played with a tablespoon clenched between his teeth.

Bikers Heaven


Marlon and his girlfriend Kitty, and assorted hangers-on lease the lowest farm from Miems. She is always on the verge of evicting them – so much trouble do they bring – but somehow each month they make the rent.

This can’t be due to Marlon’s efforts – his lack of drive is obvious, and loudly rebuked by Kitty. It is she that has some business brain, and keeps his excesses in check. Kitty comes from the Cape Flats – a harsh gang-ridden zone on the roughest side of Cape Town. A girl as attractive as Kitty has had to develop street smarts, and even here she needs to use her skills to keep the excesses of bruiser bikers or lumbering farmers in check. Not, that is, that she is above using her wiles to gain some favour here or there.

Such talents drive Miems up the wall much more than Marlon’s simple lack of focus.

Secondary characters

A gallery of secondary characters waits in the wings for now. The next objective is to develop storylines for the series before settling on the secondary characters and their function in the narrative.

I include a montage of faces, below. Some are well-known actors, others not. Please be aware that no-one has been approached for any role. The pictures simply provide a visual impression of the imagined personalities within the work.

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