CapeTalk Celebrating 20 years
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2000: Monique Strydom and Lisa Chait recall the hostage drama

This October, CapeTalk is celebrating its 20th birthday by reliving some of the most impactful stories of the past twenty years, as told by some of our favourite personalities.

For four months from April 2000, South Africans were gripped by the story of Monique and Callie Strydom - two South Africans taken hostage while on a diving holiday in Malaysia.

The Strydoms, along with the other hostages taken from the resort, spent three months moving through the jungles of the Philippines in an attempt to avoid the military - but former CapeTalk presenter Lisa Chait was determined to get something special to them to connect them with the people back home.

We thought: We're going to record a show, and we're going to get it to them somehow.

Lisa Chait, former CapeTalk presenter

Chait and her colleagues went shopping for a Sony Walkman and batteries, and posted the tape in the hopes that it would eventually reach the hostages. It did.

We played (that tape) until the batteries were flat.

Monique Strydom

Monique and Callie spent 127 days as hostages.

Monique Strydom (left), one of 21 people held by Abu Sayyaf rebels for 127 days in the jungle on the Philippine island of Jolo in 2000. Picture: Supplied.

They kept us alive because they needed us to be alive. We became the commodity they were going to trade with.

Monique Strydom

Upon her return, Monique sold her business and dedicated herself to charity work and motivational speaking.

I was really called to make an impact on people's lives. I'm using this to hopefully better the lives of other people.

Monique Strydom

In conversation with Kieno Kammies, Chait recalls the early days of CapeTalk, in particular the first morning.

I got my mom to phone in ... Just in case no one phoned.

Lisa Chait

Watch Monique Strydom recall her experience in 2000 as CapeTalk celebrates its 20th birthday.


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