The Heritage media house has released the long awaited Documentary on the late former President Sir Seretse Khama, following a two year production period.
The star studded film recently completed post production at Online Post, one of London’s premier editing facilities, a press statement from the Heritage Media House in Gaborone has confirmed.
“The fast paced, visually captivating musically astounding, emotionally fulfilling insightful and educational documentary creatively chronicles the lives of Sir Seretse Khama and Lady Ruth Khama from their world famous love story,” the statement explained.
Sir Seretse Khama was Botswana’s first President who died in 1980. Born into one of the powerful royal families in the country, Bangwato royalty, in 1921 of what was then a British Protectorate. He was educated abroad in the United Kingdom and returned home with a white bride, Ruth Williams whom he met in 1947 during his studies in London.
Lady Khama was a former "Women's Auxiliary Air Force" WAAF ambulance driver from Blackheath, London. She met the then Prince Seretse Khama while he was attending law school in England and she was working as a clerk at Lloyd's of London.
The interracial marriage in 1948 sparked a rift of contempt among both the apartheid government of the neighbouring South Africa government and the royal Bangwato clan. On learning about the marriage of “abomination”, his uncle, then the Bangwato chief regent, called Seretse home and annulled the marriage.
Khama and his wife, the mother to the current Botswana President, Lieutenant General, Seretse Khama Ian Khama, were exiled to England in 1951. The exile was lifted in 1957 and Sir Seretse Khama became the country’s first President when it gained independence from Britain in 1966.
According to the Heritage Media House the research on the late couple, shows that, the couple also encountered incidents of racism from some members of the British public and had a widely publicized marriage up until their lives as Botswana’s founding President and first lady.
“The sixty minute film carries a stellar cast including Sir Seretse‘s friend and former British cabinet minister Tony Benn who lead the campaign for the couple’s release from exile by voicing it out in the House Of Commons and mobilizing support from the British public,” the Heritage Media House has further revealed.
According to the statement, the documentary carries an exclusive no holds barred interview filmed before Tony Benn’s untimely death. Benn takes the viewer through his contribution to the Khama’s release as he was the first to raise the matter in the House of Commons and later formed the Seretse Khama Defense Council.
“Within the film, he reminisces about his close friendship with the Khama’s and how the eloquent Seretse used to impress the British public when he spoke at campaign gatherings. Tony Benn’s comments are complemented by rare archival footage of the young fire brand MP in the House of Commons,” the statement reads in part.
Tony supported Sir Khama in the 1940s when both British and South African political figures opposed his marriage to the then young Englishwoman Ruth Williams.
In honor of Tony, one of Seretse’s twin sons, Anthony Khama was named after him.
Another high profile contribution according to Heritage Media House is made by Lord Jones of Cheltenham who gives a detailed often entertaining account of events that led to what he refers to as the Khama’s creation of a democratic peaceful prosperous country called Botswana. Lord Jones is a life peer of the British House of Lords.
Further giving the public what to look forward to, Heritage Media House mentioned that, Former South African president Thabo Mbeki’s commentary encourages Batswana to follow the example of Sir Seretse Khama, describing him as one of Africa’s greatest leaders who will always be respected and loved across the world.
“Lady Khama takes the lead role in this documentary. Her rare, exclusive, informative commentary fuse together with other interviews including that of her sister, Muriel Sanderson, the Khama twins, Anthony and Tshekedi who speak passionately of their mother’s charity work. More research concerning the film has shown that she will talk about president’s thoughts and vision for the country, his wishes for the future of its peoples and that of his own family,” the previewer further suggested.
The Khama twins, Anthony and Tshekedi express their feelings passionately about their parent’s lives, their mother’s charity work and share their childhood experiences as part of the First Family.
Apparently the filming locations include famous Trafalgar Square, the flat where the couple stayed at Nottinghill, London, the church where they got married, situated in the same area, and the suburb of Croydon where they spent their five years in exile. Back home, it consists of government enclave near Gaborone’s Main Mall and Serowe.
Meanwhile the film producer, Billy Kokorwe, who is the son to the Speaker of Parliament, Gladys Kokorwe has been said to have carried out Positive Africa Image Campaign in the United States of America and through the docu-drama, titled Black King-White queen, Kokorwe says he wanted to bridge the gap.
Famous quote "We were taught, sometimes in a very positive way, to despise ourselves and our ways of life. We were made to believe that we had no past to speak of, no history to boast of. The past, so far as we were concerned, was just a blank and nothing more. Only the present mattered, and we had very little control over it. It should now be our intention to try and retrieve what we can of our past. We should write our own history books, to prove that we did have a past; and that it was a past that was just as worth writing about as any other. We must do this for the simple reason that a nation without a past is a lost nation, and a people without a past are a people without a soul." These words were said by Sir Seretse Khama back in 1970 and have been used by the nation to remember the kind of president Botswana had.
A job, lucrative or not, is a job after all. Sometimes one has to compromise in order to make a living, few people get a job their dream jobs. But once in a while there is an emergence of people who listen to their inner calling to pursue their passion.
The founder and head designer of Butterfly Couture, Chawa July is one of those few people who left their job to pursue their passion. An inspiring fact about July is that she is a self-taught fashion designer, she used to copy patterns from her old clothes until she learnt how to draw them, and she also searched information from the internet to increase her knowledge and skills.
“It all started as a hobby from my love for beautiful dresses and I started adjusting and making clothes for myself. Gradually people around me started to take interest in my craft and the hobby slowly grew into a profitable business,” July said.
The 41 year fashion designer from Molepolole worked her way up in the Procurement space for over 10 years. She worked at Stanbic Bank, Kromberg & Schubert and Clover Dairy as a Procurement supervisor. Her last job before she entered the fashion industry was a Manager for Contacts & Sourcing at a Facilities Management Company.
She established her fashion house in October 2019 and it has become synonyms with elegant wedding gowns and exquisite evening wear. July said when designing she is inspired by various aspects such as the client’s personality, the mood of the event and the theme. She further mentioned that every opportunity is to show her craft so she always aims to please.
“Every Butterfly Couture piece must represent the elegance and the creativity the brand is about,” she said. Butterfly Couture has adorned beauty queens; Miss Botswana 2021/2022 Ambrociah Samboko at Miss Universe in South Korea and Miss Botswana 2019,Oweditse Fafah Phirinyane during her reign of which is the highlight of her career. They have also marked their presence in a few fashion events locally and in the neighbouring countries.”
They showcased at The Grand Palm Wedding Expo, Masa Fashion Show, Miss Botswana Fashion Show and Sacunda plus Size Fashion Show. The will also be showcasing at Gabs July Fashion Show on the 15th of July alongside the South African designer, popularly known as the King of glamour David Tlale.
July also identified that one of the challenges they face in the couture is that, it’s a seasonal business. “There are times in the year when the business is great and challenging. Winter in particular, is difficult time to stay afloat as there aren’t as many events that people are inspired to dress spectacularly for,” she said. She further said that her aim is to be a prime couturier of choice in Botswana.
“Craft like your life depends on it because every happy client is 10 more referrals” is what she said when asked to serve a word of wisdom to people hoping to make it in the fashion industry.
The Botswana Gospel Music Awards (BOGMA) and the Annual Gospel Awards (AGA) are said to be no longer in existence and a joint venture project has been put up that will carry out the awarding of gospel musicians.
The new entity has been established as Gospel Music Awards, which is a project at this moment is nearer to dishing out the first Gospel Awards under the leadership of the dissolved entities (BOGMA and AGA). “The difference is the same, it is just that the two projects were run by different minds which had differing objectives,” said the project coordinator, Letsweletse Moshabi when asked what the difference was between the two previous awards.
He added that at this junction their focus is on the future of the gospel musicians and they would like to direct their energies to the new project and forgo the past projects. “The Music market especially the gospel genre is too small and that basically means the very small market was experiencing the imbalance in the supply and demand forces. At that stage, supply was more than the demand so the reason for the joint forces is to allow the supply and demand forces to readjust and form equilibrium,” added Moshabi.
The mandate and objectives of the project are to recognize and award gospel music talent, to create awareness of the Botswana gospel music industry and to create a platform where fellow musicians may exchange ideas and network amongst themselves and approach international markets in cohesion.
The first of these joint awards will be held on the 27th August 2022 at Molapo Showcase under the theme ‘Cohesiveness to Build’ where about 18 categories will be up for grabs.
The Kumnandi Ekhaya musik festival will be held on the 30th September 2022 at Thamaga village. The event coincides with the release of famous host, Dj Ngwazi’s first album called ‘spring day’ on the 2nd of September 2022.
The Thamaga born and raised Lefika Lushen Kebatlege is a disc jockey and a music producer signed under WanitwaMos Entertainment in South Africa. Famously known as Dj Ngwazi and formally known as DJ superstar, he has really worked hard to become one of the finest export DJs the country has produced. Internationally, he is described as a DJ from South African because of his works with popular music artist Master KG.
Meanwhile, the music festival will feature South African artists, Makhazi, Master KG, Prince Benza and Mthunzi. They will also be joined by some of the big local artists, Franco, Vee Mampeezy, among others. “The tickets of the concert will be available at Spar stores, webticket and Kings bar. There will be three categories for VIP tickets, the one that goes for P1000, P1500 and P2200,” said the Kumnandi Ekhaya musik fest promoter Sadie Swartz of Saysay Entertainment.
“We have a new system to tackle the cry of promoters about security at the events. We will have a team of 100 security men, 10 horses and 15 dogs. We also agreed with the police to help with traffic control and no tickets will be sold at the gate to avoid circulation of money which can attract thieves,” said Kagiso Gaodumelwe from All Night Security.
“I started deejaying back in the days when I was still schooling at Kagiso Senior School and I never stopped working towards my career since then. I have a career in South Africa, since 2018 when Master KG took me in and his support as a brother has taken me to places,” said DJ Ngwazi describing his career journey.
“Kumnandi Ekhaya is Zulu language which means ‘go monate ko gae’ in Setswana. The name came about as a way of inviting my South African fans and supporters to my home village Thamaga to come experience the joy that comes with celebrating our freedom and independence. I used isiZulu because it’s the dominant language in South Africa,” explained Dj Ngwazi.
“The concert will be held in an open space which was used for agricultural purposes and we would like to call it ‘Ko Legoleng’. With this concert I want to redeem the dignity of our village because we once had the cases of youth who were terrorizing the community, beating up people in the streets and stealing and these was really a concern in our community because they were tarnishing the village name,” said Dj Ngwazi.
The purpose of this concert is to empower the community of Thamaga and local artist, more especially artist from Thamaga village like, Kgabo Sereto traditional group. There will be a litter picking campaign around the village before the launch of the concert .The sponsors which are already on board are Dladleng Entertainment and Kings bar and there are still more sponsors to be revealed.
”As the Kumnandi Ekhaya musik fest management, we are going to buy food combos and take them to Thamaga village Kgotla so they can be donated to the less privileged and orphans. Starting from October we will be donating pads to all Junior Schools in Thamaga,” said Dj Ngwazi. Dj Ngwazi’s motivational words to other artist and everyone else; work hard, be patient and be determined.