It may have taken Botswana a while but it seems that finally the country’s entertainment industry is pulling out all the stops to show off the talent that has been ‘slept on’ or overlooked.
Last week Tuesday (30th June) saw Lights Off, a local production hit the small screen. The show, which portrays life in urban Gaborone, revolves around 3 childhood best friends (Fifi played by Nnete Modeni, Jazz played by Lame Mogorosi and Cathy played by Kgomotso Ramakoba. The trio went to primary school together and have been together ever since. We meet them at a point where they are now grown-ups and working for the same Chicken Franchise Company (Chicken Culture).
Along the way it becomes evident that good things only happen to Cathy and the other two friends, Fifi and Jazz always play the ‘hyping role’. Jessica does not have a problem with Cathy’s blessings but Fifi on the other hand struggles to be happy for her friend. The friendship that was once guided by love and compassion now is guided by envy, jealousy and bitterness. Fifi ends up joining a cult in order to bring about the destruction and demise of her friends’ lives, her goal is to make them suffer and still portray herself as a caring Christian friend.
When quizzed on what inspired the film, the writer of Lights Off, Tumelo Chaba shared with WeekendLife that, “We are leaving in a world where the most painful betrayals come from friends, so I guess that’s where I got the motivation to settle for this angle.’’“Lights Off means, where there was once light (Love, empathy, compassion) now there is darkness (envy, jealousy, betrayal, bitterness).”
The series stars actors and actresses birthed by Signed International, a show known for producing top notch actors.When choosing talent to feature on the show, he said they had to do immerse training to their cast so that they can bring out something unique to their production.“Our actors have gone through our training program so they know what is expected of them every time we give them a script. Most actors around worked a lot of times on staging (theatre).
So we train our actors to become Tv/film actors. The technique and elements of TV/film acting is different from the ones for theatre so we just help differentiate the two,” Chaba highlighted.
The main members include; Nnete Modeni, Lame Mogorosi, Kgomotso Ramakoba, Tlholego Chaba and Gouveia Mutasa
At the moment, the series has one season with 26 episodes, each episode running for 24 minutes. The team is currently working on the script for season 2.“Batswana should look forward to more drama as the story unfolds with content that is relevant and relatable as well,” Chaba said.
When asked whether the drama will only air on Now Tv channel, Chaba said, “For now, the only contract is with Now TV, but we are hoping to get deals outside the boarder.’’
The new television drama is currently airing every Tuesday at 8:30pm on DSTV channel 290 and repeats Wednesdays at noon.Lights Off: love, betrayal, drama
This past weekend MultiChoice Botswana hosted media and lifestyle enthusiasts in Oodi for an evening of fun, drama and everything in between. The treat dubbed Big Brother Titans Botswana media challenge basically recreated the Big Brother experience right here in Botswana.
Big Brother Titans is the joint South African and Nigerian edition of the Big Brother franchise. The series follows contestants as they live in an isolated house and compete for a cash prize at the end of the show by avoiding being evicted from the house by the viewers.
These viewers vote their favorite housemates to stay on the show. The show features housemates from South Africa and Nigeria. The first season of the show premiered on January 15 2023 on DStv.
DStv Botswana Corporate Affairs Manager, Thembile Legwaila told WeekendLife that they saw it critical to host media friends to experience how it feels by being in the Big Brother house.
â€śFor the very first time in history of Big Brother, weâ€™ve seen the merging of two superpowers, Mzansi and Naija, with the Big Brother Titans season and what a better way to celebrate the monumental season than hosting our media friends.â€ť
Participants were treated to top notch reception complimented by the Oodi sunset which just blew them away. A special shuttle was organized from Gaborone to Oodi, at a farm house that is just incredible in terms of design, aesthetics and ambience.
Of course they were welcomed by soft cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages for those who are not drinkers, and the next booth was an opportunity for housemates to introduce themselves to the man of the house, Biggie. RB2â€™s new baby Mdu the Party played the role of Biggie, and he nailed the character.
Some of the contestants were asked what they will do with the grand prize of P5000. With my ongoing voluntary movement, #Pad4HER, I needed the cash prize to push the campaign.Â #Pad4HER is a campaign that I started last year with an aim of helping female students from disadvantaged backgrounds to have access to sanitary towels. Anyway, luck was not on my side but my colleague from The Botswana Gazette, Gosego Motsumi emerged as the winner.
We got done with the questions and made way into the house. The party began with more drinks and the first challenge kicked off. For this particular challenge, we were divided into pairs. I was matched with Motsumi and we won the first challenge.
Other housemates asked how we managed but it was simple: we had a strategy before embarking on the challenge. We sat down and debated on what we need to do in order to emerge victorious.
DStv engaged a phenomenal local chef, Rachel Tlagae who served some enchanting, light meal. Its Big Brother Titans so we ought to mind what we eat and also take note of quantities. Chefs also brought some wine to go with the meal and everyone was contented.
THE WINNING CHALLENGE
Housemates were taken through the last challenge: mental ability. This particular challenge needed them to know who they are as well as knowing their fellow housemates. It was one of the simplest challenges yet difficult. This is where I lost lot of points even though I was at the top (after winning the first challenge).
These housemates were all unique in their own way. From the media side was myself, Sharon Mathala, Leungo Mokgwathi, Gosego Motsumi and Nancy Ramokhua. This is a team which did exceptionally well altogether. Motsumi emerged as the winner, followed by Mathala and me on fourth position.
The third position was won by Loungo Pitse from influencerâ€™s side, and he tagged alongside DJ Gouveia, Dato Seiko, Kedi Molosiwa and Gape Makwati.
Legwaila said â€śWe wanted to have a healthy mix of traditional media (print and radio) as well as social media personalities, artists and content creators in the house. We chose individuals who were characteristically different from each other because variety and diversity is important to us. We of course chose those with outgoing personalities as well as those who are a little more introverted as we wanted the interaction to be authentic and organic. We wanted a solid group of individuals who represented the many different people that make up this beautiful country.â€ť
DSTV IS COOKING SOMETHING
When quizzed if there are plans to have a similar Big Brother Titans Botswana, Legwaila said â€śMultiChoice Africa is focused on entertaining audiences all over Africa with the current Big Brother franchises; BB Titans, Mzansi and Naija. Though we have no immediate plans to have a Big Brother Botswana in the future, we are continuously looking at ways to entertain our Botswana audience with local content and we are excited for whatâ€™s to come in the next few weeks from our country.â€ť
The 71st Miss Universe competition will be going down at the New Orleans Morial Convention Center in New Orleans next week in the United States. There are eighty four entrants at this yearâ€™s Miss Universe, and Botswana will once again not be a part of the pageant.
The Miss Universe will be hosted by Jeannie Mai and Miss Universe 2012 Olivia Culpo, who last served as host during Miss Universe 2020, while Mai last served as backstage correspondent during Miss Universe 2014. Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray and Zuri Hall will serve as backstage correspondents. This will mark the first time in a 70-year history to have an all-female presenting panel.
Botswana last participated at the Miss Universe in 2013, in which the Miss Universe Botswana pageant was won by Tsoane Macheng. Ever since then, Botswana never made its return to the biggest beauty pageant in the world, despite its consistent ability to send a representative to participate at the Miss World competition.
Miss Universe Botswana Director, Safie Sekgwa, allegedly holds the Miss Universe license. Efforts to reach him proved futile, as his mobile phone rung unanswered.
Despite Botswana showing zero efforts in participating at the Miss Universe, the beauty pageants 2019 crown was flanked by two smaller diamonds cut from the same stoned mined in Botswana.
Jewelry designer Mouawad created a new â€śPower of Unityâ€ť crown reportedly worth 5 Million US Dollars, and the title was won by South Africaâ€™s Zozibini Tunzi. She was the third South African to be crowned Miss Universe.
BOTSWANAâ€™S POOR RECORD AT MISS UNIVERSE
Botswana is said to be one African country with the most beautiful women, but, the poor performance at the Miss Universe, communicates otherwise. Perhaps, representatives at the pageant are not academically gifted, as the Miss Universe tests how keen they are also.
Mpule Kwelagobe made history when she was crowned Miss Universe 1999. That was few months after she was crowed the first ever Miss Universe Botswana. Kwelagobe became the third woman from Africa who was crowned Miss Universe.
In 2000, Miss Universe Botswana then, Joyce Molemoeng did not place at Miss Universe, and the same blue reality struck again in 2001, when Mataila Sikwane also failed drastically.
After a two year hiatus, Miss Universe 2004, Icho Keolotswe also failed to place at Miss Universe. That was the end of participation at Miss Universe, only to return in 2010. Tirelo Ramasedi, Miss Universe 2010 also did not win. The same losing trend followed from 2011 (Larona Kgabo), 2012 (Sheillah Molelekwa) and 2013 (Tsaone Macheng).
MISS UNIVERSE 2022 UNDERWAY
Preparations are ongoing to hold the 71st Miss Universe competition. Harnaaz Sandhu of India will crown her successor at the end of the event. There are nine countries which have withdrawn from participating: Denmark, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Morocco, Romania and Sweden.
As for returns, Miss Universe 2022 will see Angola, Belize, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Malaysia, Myanmar, Saint Lucia, Seychelles, Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago as well as Uruguay.
Lebanon won Miss Universe in 1971, Angola in 2011, Trinidad and Tobago in 1977 and1998. Youngest Miss Universe 2022 participants are aged 18, and they are from British Virgin Islands, Iceland and Krgyzstan and Switzerlandâ€™s representative is nineteen.
MISS UNIVERSE ALMOST 6 MILLION US DOLLAR CROWN
Miss Universe has unveiled its new crown for the 71st competition. The new crown, â€śThe Crown Number 12: Force for Goodâ€ť was crafted by world renowned luxury jeweler Mouawad.
The new crown, with pear-shaped blue sapphires surrounded by diamonds and valued at approximately 5.58 Million US Dollars, will be the prestigious mark of honor for the winner this coming week.
According to the Miss Universe organization, the Force for Good crown emanates Mouawadâ€™s passion for crafting the extraordinary, featuring the meticulous setting of sapphires and diamonds, whose design is replete with symbolism.
Reflecting the point that significant change does not happen in an instant, the base of the crown is set with diamonds symbolizing the status quo. From the base upwards, rippling wave motifs reflect the momentum of change, with their varying sizes portraying that this momentum gains ground gradually through advocacy at different moments and places, to audiences large and small, over time.