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Renowned actor Donald Molosi in dialogue with Dalai Lama

Publishing Date : 19 July, 2017

Author : DAVE BAAITSE

Award-winning Broadway and Hollywood actor, Donal Molosi will be one of the distinguished speakers who will be sharing the stage with His Holiness The Dalai Lama next month at the anticipated historic conference on Botho/Ubuntu next month, it was revealed earlier this week.


This event will mark the first visit to Botswana by The Dalai Lama and the conference is set to be held from August 17 to August 19, 2017. Other speakers include human rights advocate Graca Machel and Former Vice President of Botswana, Dr. Ponatshego Kedikilwe. Speaking to SABC News in Johannesburg over the weekend where he held a press conference about the event, Molosi revealed that the Botswana Dialogue brings African humanitarian and spiritual leaders, scholars and healers into conversation with His Holiness The Dalai Lama and international neuroscientists about the African worldview of Botho/Ubuntu, during five sessions followed by a public address in Gaborone, Botswana.


Molosi further stated that examining African values and healing practices in light of new scientific research on social connection and trauma, the Dialogue in Botswana explores the potential of Botho/Ubuntu as a framework for healing the legacy and trauma of wars and colonialism, and advancing social justice and women’s equality.


According to the website, www.botswanadialogue.org, Molosi will make a presentation to The Dalai Lama and then be in conversation with him about the presentation in front of an audience. The three-day conference will be livecast on many platforms including His Holiness The Dalai Lama’s own website, www.dalailama.com


“I am an advocate for the inclusion of African history in the African classroom as a gesture of Botho/Ubuntu to our forebears and also to generations we will never see. A key trademark in my work on stage and in film has been the desire to commune with our past and to preserve it by teaching it in schools. I am honoured that I will be in conversation with His Holiness The Dalai Lama about an issue that so many Batswana of my generation care so deeply about,” said Molosi.


In March this year Molosi presented a highly anticipated talk at TEDx Gaborone about the same issue. In the talk, entitled ‘Dear Upright African,’ he lamented the absence of African material in African schools. He also shared his own experience of private school in Botswana. Following the talk, Molosi was at the receiving end of a backlash from some who held different views from his regarding African material in African schools. Most notably, a teacher at Maru- a- Pula school (names withheld) who blasted a series of social media posts accusing him of being an “ungrateful piece of cr*$#” for advocating for African history despite having been exposed to Western history.


When quizzed about the incident Molosi said, “I cannot speak about any one individual’s reactions especially if they are not presented in botho. What I can tell you is that when I advocate for African history to be taught in schools I am asking that we do botho to those who came before us. That is what I am focused on.”


Winner of more than 25 international acting awards and more than 15 writing awards, the 31 year old was the first Motswana actor to perform on Broadway in 2007 and in his upcoming 2017 off- Broadway play “Black Man Samurai,” Molosi chronicles his own decade-long career in New York City’s Theatre District.


Molosi is featured in “A United Kingdom” opposite Golden Globe and Emmy award nominee David Oyelowo and Oscar nominee Rosamund Pike. The film depicts the marriage of Prince Seretse Khama and Ruth Williams in the 1940s and the uniting of the people of Botswana. In his 2017 viral essay “Dear Upright African,” Molosi explores botho as a basis for the African school curriculum.


Molosi holds an MA in Theatre and Performance Studies from the University of California–Santa Barbara, a Graduate Diploma in Classical Acting from LAMDA (UK) and a BA in Political Science and a BA in Theatre, both from Williams College in Massachusetts. His new documentary, “We Are All Blue,” contains the last televised interview of Botswana’s second President, The Late Sir Ketumile Masire.


Tickets for the Dialogue with the Dalai Lama begin at P100 for ages 15 to 35, and for students with a valid ID. The deadline for purchasing tickets either online or from Maitisong Box Office is July 31. “The deadline for purchasing tickets is to give us enough time for security clearance because obviously the guests coming are high profile figures,” Molosi explained.

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