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Botswana’s soul and spirit captured in new documentary film

Renowned thespian and only the Motswana to be honoured by Broadway, Donald Molosi is at it again. The actor, who’s had many strides in Hollywood is set to release his new Documentary Film titled We Are All Blue  based on his 2011 one man show play titled Blue, Black and White which earned him both Best Actor Award at the Dialogue one Festival and a Best Solo Award off-Broadway.


Blue, Black and White (2011), is the longest running one- man show in the Botswana’s history and was the first- ever Botswana play staged off- Broadway in New York City. It is written, directed and performed by Molosi and it has been performed in several countries in the region and in the US. It is about the country’s first democratically elected President, Seretse Khama and his interracial, transformative marriage. The storyline depicts the sad reality and the fallout that happened when Seretse and Ruth Williams fell in love.


The play is also featured in Molosi’s book ‘We Are All Blue’ which was published by The Mantle in New York. The feature was historic in that it was the first time in Botswana that history drama was moved from stage to print. This past Easter Sunday, April 16, Molosi, 30, debuted the trailer of his latest project online, a documentary film project called ‘We Are All Blue.” The trailer, which is also on YouTube is fast circulating around the world garnering praise from Batswana and Molosi’s own Hollywood colleagues alike.


In 'We Are All Blue' (2017), modern Botswana is seen through the eyes of Molosi, a Botswana-born Broadway actor and playwright, who embarks on a journey to discover more about him, his people and Botswana, the country he calls home. He believes that in order to create your future, you need to understand your past – and this is what he sets out to do.   


“With this film I aim to cinematically capture Botswana’s soul and spirit. The camera follows me to my home village of Mahalapye and my ancestral village of Serowe, and along the way I encounter elders who impart to me wisdom like former President Sir Ketumile Masire whom I am honored to feature and personally thank in this film,” he says. Molosi was this week talking to WeekendLife from Johannesburg where he is currently in meetings with media houses that have shown interest in his latest offering. He is also signed under Waka Agency under Rosie Motene.  


In the documentary Molosi says he explores some fundamental life questions about identity and belonging, about being a Motswana, and about the contradictions inherent in the country he loves. Towards the end of the film he reflects on how far Botswana has come in the 50 years since independence, but also on how far it still has to go – and what needs to be done to regain and maintain Botswana’s reputation as Africa’s success story.   


“I am grateful that I got to partner with Multichoice, Torch Studio Films and Hambrook Films on this project. I wrote 19 versions of the script, with different storylines and endings et cetera before I picked which script to go with. I put my all into this film and so did my whole team,” said Molosi.The film features Molosi’s conversations with other notable Batswana including Former Deputy Commonwealth Secretary- General Mmasekgoa Masire- Mwamba, Kgosikgolo of Batawana Kgosi Tawana Moremi II; and Former President of Botswana, Sir Ketumile Masire.


Molosi made history ten years ago when he became the first Motswana actor to perform on Broadway. Over the past decade, Molosi has scooped many major awards on Broadway and off-Broadway for his acting and writing, prompting the New York Times to call his award- winning performances “inflamed with passion.” Molosi’s critically- acclaimed plays are taught around the world as part of the school curriculum in various countries including the United States.


Molosi currently divides his time between Botswana, US and UK working as an actor, writer and film producer. He is featured in A United Kingdom opposite Golden Globe and Emmy award nominee David Oyelowo and Oscar nominee Rosemund Pike. Directed by Belle (2013) director, Amma Asante a British national, the film depicts the marriage of Prince Seretse Khama and Ruth Williams in the 1940s and the uniting of the people of Botswana.

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WeekendLife

200,000 Members of International Church Hold Virtual Prayer Service for Covid-19

22nd September 2020
200,000

After its initial outbreak with a cluster of pneumonia cases at a seafood, poultry and live wildlife market in Wuhan City, China, Covid-19 has spread rapidly across the globe. The virus has hammered economies worldwide and brought devastation to many.

On 16 September Shincheonji Church of Jesus, a church with thousands of members in various countries, held a global online prayer service to pray for the victims of the coronavirus and their families, healthcare workers, government officials and for the complete eradication of and cure for Covid-19.

The virtual prayer service was live-streamed to the entire congregation with more than 200,000 members in countries all over the world participating, including the USA, the United Kingdom, South Korea, Australia, South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe.

In keeping with social distancing, health protocols and protecting its members from possible exposure to the coronavirus, Shincheonji arranged the virtual gathering for members to pray together in safety and set an example for others.

Prayers were mainly for the healing of those infected with the virus, for overworked healthcare workers who are struggling to fight Covid-19, and for people in economic distress in the wake of the pandemic. The overwhelming online participation from its members worldwide showed the desire and urgency to end this virus and for healing and restoration in communities.

The Chairman of Shincheonji Church Mr Manhee Lee suggested this online virtual gathering and said that all believers will continue to pray at the church’s worship services until the complete eradication of the coronavirus.

At least 1,700 of the church’s South Korean-based congregation have donated their blood plasma for research around an effective treatment. Convalescent plasma has also showed promise as therapy for Covid-19 and is believed to have reduced the severity of symptoms in critical patients.

“In order to defeat Covid-19, we need to embrace, love, and unite,” as global citizens, the church said. “We wanted to do all we can as believers by praying for the people working to prevent the spread of the virus and healthcare workers who are working at the frontlines of this battle against Covid-19 and we believe that God will answer our earnest prayers.”

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WeekendLife

AFRIMMA nominates Vee Mampeezy

22nd September 2020
Vee-Mampeezy

The annual prestigious music awards, African Muzik Magazine Awards and Music Festival (AFRIMMA), has resumed this year. But this time around with a virtual version of it.

The awards that celebrate the originality of African music has unveiled their seventh edition. The awards seek to promote the African talent by bringing together on the same stage African legendary artists to celebrate African culture.

The event was established by the International Committee of AFRIMMA, in collaboration with African Union to reward and celebrate musical works, talents and creativity around the African continent while promoting the African cultural heritage amongst African countries.

However after the Covid-19 global pandemic, the event will not be hosted on a live global stage, but it will be hosted virtually and nominees are expected to deliver their performances virtually. The AFRIMMA Virtual Awards 2020 is set to be the first of its kind in the African music world with performances coming from different artists around the world and audience catching the performances, speeches and award presentations on multiple streaming devices.

Amongst the many who are nominated by the AFRIMMAs is local sensation Vee Mampeezy who has been nominated in the category for Best Male Southern African alongside music giants, Black Coffee- South Africa, Slap Dee – Zambia, Cassper Nyovest- South Africa, Master KG- South Africa, Jah Prayzah – Zimbabwe, Vee Mampeezy – Botswana, Shyn – Madagascar, Tshego- South Africa, Tha Dogg – Namibia and Yanga Chief – South Africa.

Mampeezy has established with WeekendLife that prior to that, he had received an email from AFRIMMA confirming his nomination. They wished for him to perform which he said he will confirm the performance first with his manager, but as for now he is not sure if he will be performing.

“We have accepted the nomination. It is such an honour to be nominated alongside music giants like Black Coffee. I am very excited, others I am not as excited to be nominated alongside them because I have been nominated before with them. I do not mean to say they are not great, they are great in their respective right,” he said.

“We should be excited as a country that Botswana has been nominated as well. Before anything else, the fact that we are there as nominees makes us winners. It is such an honour to be recognised more so that Botswana is a small country with a very small population.”

Famous and most decorated artists the likes of Diamond Platnumz, Mr Flavour, Harmonize, Davido and Jah Prayzah are also amongst the nominees. However, South African based artist affectionately known as Master KG has been nominated six times for Video of the year, Best Male Southern Africa, Artist of the year, Best Collaboration as well as song of the year.

Master KG’s song ‘Jerusalem’ has been making waves internationally, and it was used mostly during the pandemic to shake off the Covid-19 anxiety. The song was nominated after South African Music Awards (SAMA) failed to nominate the young talented artist.

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WeekendLife

Miss Earth Botswana catwalks to save the environment

22nd September 2020
MISS EARTH

Miss Earth Botswana is an annual local environmental-themed beauty pageant competition promoting environmental awarenessconservation and social responsibility. The reigning Queen dedicated her year to promoting specific projects and often addressing issues concerning the environment.

The Queen does this through school tours, tree planting activities, street campaigns, coastal clean ups, speaking engagements, shopping mall tours, media guesting, environmental fairs, storytelling programs to children, eco-fashion shows, and other environmental activities.

Even though this auspicious year has been faulted by the COVID-19 crisis, Miss Earth Botswana 2020 Seneo Perry has seen this as a chance to fix her crown, and get dirty in conserving the environment. This is highly impressive as it expresses how dedicated she is not only in wearing the crown, but putting in some work to create a better greener world.

Perry is a Botswana based environmentalist, equipped with a degree in Entrepreneurial Business Leadership from Sheffield Hallam University (BAC) and a top 5 finalist in Miss Earth Botswana 2019. As an eco-warrior at heart, she has dedicated her time and energy towards educating and empowering the next generation on the importance of preservation and careful management of the environment and natural resources (a clean and safe environment.)

Miss Earth Botswana will be hosting SOS Children for a film documentary dubbed “Into the Okavango” on Saturday 19th September, in Tlokweng. This initiative is influenced by National Vision 2036 Pillar of National Values which is our identity, our unique natural and cultural resources, tolerance of diversity as well as national values constitute a value preposition that makes Botswana a place to live, work and do business.

In an exclusive interview with WeekendLife, Perry’s Manager, Shimah Keakopa, said the purpose of this event is to encourage the children to open up their minds a bit more to think outside the box as they are about to choose their career paths and what more they can offer to their country as upcoming young leaders.

“This event is held under the theme ‘‘Botswana will have healthy ecosystems that support the economy, livelihoods and our cultural heritage as well as enhance resilience to climate change’’. We strive to help young children grow up knowing their purpose in life and what they actually do in achieving their ambitions.”

For her part, the queen said since 2013, conservation topics have always attracted her interests towards achieving a clean and safe environment for the benefit of humanity. She said “Botswana relies heavily on the tourism industry as it contributes 7 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Our tourism industry has been characterized as more of a fauna and flora type, which is the great attraction to local and international tourists.”

“Therefore it is imperative that we conserve and continuously engage in environmental issues, to preserve our untouchable pristine wilderness. Furthermore people who live closest to natural resources generally absorb the greatest cost associated with conservation,” she said.

Perry told WeekendLife that a lot still needs to be done to ensure everybody is of one mind in an effort dedicated towards environmental conservation, which not only benefits the flora and fauna but the economy as well through activities such as agriculture and tourism.

“In Botswana, there still not enough policies (some outdated) and public awareness towards environmental conservation, especially the collective effort that should exist between government, private sector and Non- Governmental Organisations (NGOs).

Whereas members of the general public do not have adequate access to the information on the importance of environmental conservation and this results in them being unaware of the best practices and standards in environmental conservation,” she said.

When she is not impressing at beauty pageants, Perry is a Managing Director of “Restoring the Prime Colour of the Earth” a charitable organization established in 2019 with the objective to educate both young and old people the importance of keeping a clean and safe environment and to restore the breath-taking landmarks in Botswana.

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