Kopi Kade - ITN
It was the storyline of the 1000th half-hour episode of the famous
'Kopi Kade' teledrama telecast on ITN which celebrated its 1000th
birthday two weeks back.
Pix: Wimal Karunathilaka
Claiming to be the longest tele in the South Asian region (according
to 'Asia Week' magazine) 'Kopi Kade' has been telecast on the
Independent Television Network (ITN) for the past nineteen years. The
first episode was telecast on April 1, 1987.
This unending soap-opera was a conception of the Competent Authority
of the ITN, the late Thevis Guruge, whose idea was to form a tele to
discuss social issues, and communicate the message to the general
public. "Generally, a little kadjan boutique serving eateries plus
grocery in a village is called 'kopi kade'.
It is also a communicative centre where every villager tends to
frequent this site for his/her grocery and bakery requirements. It was
also a recreation centre where males could indulge in indoor games like
'drafts'(daan) while tattling on various subjects of interest. ITN has
been using this concept to discuss matters that spring up locally and
internationally," says Vipula Ratnasiri, Deputy General Manager of ITN.
Andrew Jayamanna was the very first director of the tele. And, being
with its sixth director Saman Fernando 'Kopi Kade' is still telecast on
Wednesdays, competing with many enthralling local and Indian dubbed
soap-operas on the private TV channels. But the SRL (Survey Research
Lanka) claims that still 'Kopi Kade' is the 'Wednesday night hit' among
village TV spectators in Sri Lanka.
Along with the 1000th milepost, the production crew has decided to do
certain changes by refreshing its cast and appearance of the location,
in accordance with the present Lankan village. Also, the young bachelor
cast that has been in 'Kopi Kade' for the past 20 years have become
Therefore, a few young characters would be introduced to the tele,
including a pretty young woman who will play the role of the niece of 'Kade
Hamine'. And many of the young heroes of yesterday like Somadasa,
Sirisena, Dingi and Gajan in 'Kopi Kade' would be getting married and
settling down finally.
A felicitation ceremony for 'Kopi Kade' troupe including the cast and
the technical staff since its inception until today, will be held in the
near future. Anura Siriwardane, Chairman of ITN says that 'Kopi Kade'
has been a challenging production and many times it was about to be
terminated by the management who chaired the ITN. "But fortunately, the
troupe could continue it until today. Once it was the most popular
teledrama in Sri Lanka.
The cast and the rest have made a great sacrifice in this regard, so
that we thought it's our duty to pay our gratitude to them," says the
chairman who is looking forward to do many alternatives not merely in
'Kopi Kade', but also in all productions, to present quality programmes
to ITN viewers.
Inaugurating a new transmission station at Suriyakanda, Ratnapura
from early June will be one of such projects launched under the new
management of the ITN. This will facilitate viewers in the Sabaragamuwa
province to have a vivid and clear transmission of the ITN TV channel.