Award-winning Motswana Broadway actor and Artistic Director of Folk Tale Theatre Company, Donald Molosi, has announced that his social media campaign under the hashtag #SirSeretse35 will be coming to an end but the social media pages will remain active.
The social media campaign which Molosi has been running all year was his brainchild to mark 35 years since Botswana’s founding President, Sir Seretse Khama died. Molosi is also the writer of Blue, Black and White, the first ever dramatic text written about the lives of Sir Seretse and Lady Ruth Khama.
In the past eleven months, Molosi has created a great deal of conversation among young people the world over about the life and legacy of Sir Seretse Khama on all social media including a Facebook group called “35 Years On: Remembering Sir Seretse Khama.” As a way to popularize the campaign, Molosi also spent the year reprising his role as Sir Seretse Khama in Blue, Black and White, the play that Molosi penned himself in 2007.
The campaign included Molosi performing and speaking at Tigerkloof Institution in South Africa where Sir Seretse Khama was a high school student in the 1940’s as well as an extensive CNN interview where Molosi outlined the significance of the Sir Seretse Khama story. The interview aired on CNN on Friday 23 October and will continue as follows: Saturday at 02.30 and 12.30, Sunday at 1030 and 1730, Monday at 0930, and Tuesday at 0330. All times GMT.
“I am ending the campaign as was always planned because this was a 2015-specific campaign. I am going to keep the social media pages active but I will now be focusing on launching an even bigger campaign about Sir Seretse’s legacy for 2016. The #SirSeretse35 has been successful and I aim to build upon it for my next year-long celebration of Sir Seretse Khama. I am also very open to working with government on this and I have approached a couple of ministries to see what is possible,” he said.
In the last three months of the campaign Molosi took the campaign outside of Botswana’s borders. He has just performed Blue, Black and White in Kenya in aid of the #SirSeretse35 campaign. Molosi performed at Nairobi University in Kenya at the invitation of the Botswana High Commissioner to Kenya, His Excellency John Moreti. Molosi also got to visit Charles Njonjo, Sir Seretse’s close friend since they were in university together.
“Meeting and speaking with Charles Njonjo was surreal. Hearing him speak about his late friend, Sir Seretse Khama and Sir Seretse’s story reminded me why I decided a decade ago to use my talents for the revival of Sir Seretse’s memory,” said Molosi.
After Kenya, Molosi took the campaign to Belgium last month where he was, at the invitation of the Botswana Ambassador to Belgium, His Excellency Samuel Outlule. After Molosi’s performance of the Sir Seretse story and speaking about #SirSeretse35, a renowned Belgian artist, Carl Anders Sven Hultin, asked to paint a portrait of Molosi as a token of gratitude.
Molosi says he felt honoured and he is excited that the campaign has touched people from all works of life: “Sir Seretse Khama represents unity of humanity and I am happy that Carl was touched by the story and decided to paint me to thank me for keeping Sir Seretse’s story in my generation’s imagination. Also, I am proud that Carl painted me using the colours of the Botswana flag.”
As one of the most prominent African actors of his generation in the continent of Africa, Donald Molosi is an official Ambassador for Brand Botswana and is the youngest-ever recipient of the Khama Brilliant Spirit Award (2003), a prestigious Presidential award, for his contribution to the arts in Botswana.
In that capacity he has had the privilege of being invited to perform his political one-man plays in front of many dignitaries including Nelson Mandela, Kofi Annan and Bill Clinton. Molosi has, in the past, both performed and presented scholarly findings concerning the arts and national memory at the UN General Assembly (2002) and the UN World Youth Conference (2012).
For the past 11 years, Molosi has worked closely with the UN and the African Union as a spokesperson for the performance-based popularization of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the African Charter on Children's Rights and Responsibilities, respectively. Molosi earned his BA in Political Economy and Theatre from Williams College in Massachusetts.
He later graduated from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) with a graduate degree in Classical Acting and Performance. He completed his MA in Theatre and Performance Studies in 2013 from the University of California (Santa Barbara).
Molosi divides his time between Botswana and the United States.
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KAGISO LUDO DE KLERK
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