“You know, it feels as if my career and job mean something,” Annelize van der Ryst says.
On an average Thursday not too long ago, a stranger had her in tears in a local bookshop, Annelize, who plays Matrone in the SABC2 soapie 7de Laan, told YOU this week.
“Sometimes we entertain people and make them laugh and other times they’re touched by our storylines. It means a lot to me.”
Annelize had the afternoon off and decided to visit a book shop in the Hyde Park shopping centre in Johannesburg and to have a cup of coffee.
A 7de Laan fan approached “Matrone” in the bookshop and asked if she didn’t already own too many books. The woman, who doesn’t want to be named, told Annelize how much she enjoys the soapie, even recording episodes when she’s not home to watch it.
The conversation soon took a serious turn. “She told me the storyline in which Diederick [Hennie Jacobs] became addicted to drugs touched her deeply,” Annelize wrote on her Facebook page.
Right there in the bookshop, the woman bared her heart to Annelize and told her about her own 35-year-old son’s struggles with addiction.
“We were weeping there in the shop among the books. I could feel her pain, though I’m not a parent. Though I don’t really know what it feels like. I felt helpless when I left.”
Annelize writes on Facebook it’s not the first mother to confess their pain to her.
“This woman is the third mother – of whom two are friends of mine – who are dealing with this unbearable pain of a child with an addiction.
“She even told me if he were dead, the pain might be easier to bear.
“How many more lives and families have yet to be destroyed by alcohol and drugs?”
Annelize says her cancer storyline, which aired two years ago, also touched many viewers’ hearts.
“The acknowledgement [from fans] is better than any aware,” Annelize says.