Okuhle’s legacy of youthful content creators
One woman. One show. One track to reach the stars. Destiny is for all us; for some, it just unfolds at a higher speed. Enter Laurian Nortje. She glides in a room on some kind of buzz you want to harness, or perhaps bottle for the secret ingredient to eternal youth. Maybe this is the spirit that has infused Cape Town’s Hectic Nine-9 with such longevity, as it hits the 10th season on SABC 2 this year in 2018. HN9 is a prime, daily, live teen-magazine program, which Laurian has been a key part of, as presenter, since inception in 2007. Her infectious giggle and quick wit have helped win Hectic Nine-9 millions of fans across South Africa. Now she finds herself on the other side of the camera, in a Co-producer role. Even though she closed her 10 – year long run with a Best Presenter nomination at the 11th annual SAFTA awards, this new transition to television production rather than presenting was no anticlimax. From writing scripts to producing location shoots, Laurian has now touched on almost every aspect of the show’s construct, and the privilege of connecting with the youth of SA and shaping the content they devour does not escape her.
Laurian has hit her third decade on the planet with new vigour and determination, poised to leave a fresh mark of significance on the world. Especially as an influencer of women. Her recent attendance of ‘Girl Lounge’, a global gathering of like-minded women, solidified all her ideals as a fempreneur, and has been a true inspiration to keep her up and at ‘em when the daily pressures of live television production can get testing. All her ideals for a powerful female voice to be heard, and then to impact and affect every aspect of SA culture were reiterated in this collaborative space, and she hopes she can bring this energy to the viewers of Hectic Nine-9. It is time for Africa to help the rest of the world Laurian insists. After her recent travels to Israel, she was blown away to witness a nation that has lived under centuries of threat, but is still coming together and creating incredible solutions and innovation globally. This aligns with her ‘dream factory’ vision for the African nations!
The viewer who started watching Hectic Nine-9 ten years ago is not at the level of the viewer who is watching today… today’s teenager is facing even more complex challenges and a whole new dispensation of government, and more than ever, we need to reach into their realities and engage them by scripting content that evokes positive action. They are bolder and more vocal than ever. Our youth are prepared to protest what they disagree with. And so we need to be listening. It’s a balance of the digital, tech crazy focus and the traditional communications approach when speaking to Hectic’s audience, and her job is telling stories they want to hear. Signal High, a new Cape Town drama airing on SABC, was initially a bite size chunk mini series within Hectic Nine-9, and Laurian uses this example to illustrate how successful a formula can be. As content creators begin to authentically engage with their listeners, they get the right response, and an initial idea can evolve into a powerful message that grows and develops into a fully-fledged, standalone story.
A holistic approach to the way we capture the market is the greatest test a TV producer faces – you’ve got to make it entertaining, relevant and responsible all at the same time. Interactive is the buzzword. ‘What do you think?’ is the only way forward on the many multimedia platforms Hectic Nine-9 harnesses. Let’s keep asking. Let’s keep hearing. Let’s keep putting others first, and together we all win, that’s her motto.
About Hectic Nine-9
Our presenters aim to inspire, entertain and educate by crafting a space where teens can express themselves through music, science, arts & culture and engaging dialogues about content pertaining to youth. We pride ourselves on being the most interactive show in Mzansi, and the use of social media allows the viewer to participate on a personal level, from the comfort of their home. Hectic Nine-9 airs on SABC 2 daily from 16h00 – 17h00.
For enquiries, contact:
Laurian Nortje, Hectic Nine-9 Producer
For more information contact;
Paula Brown, Director & Co-founder at Okuhle Media
T: 021 486 2900