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BOTSWANA MARTIAL ARTS FILM COMING SOON

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A United States based Motswana author and filmmaker of repute, Sebati Mafate is producing and directing a martial arts action packed adventure film dubbed, Blood Brothers.

If the script – partly shared with the Midweek Sun in confidence – is anything to go by, then all can brace themselves for a world-class film whose filming is scheduled to start in March 2016. Apart from the film being directed by a Motswana, Ricardo Mokwena will be given an opportunity to shine among international talents as he is not only playing the part of a supporting role but is also an associate producer.

Mokwena will be flying to Los Angeles early January for a post-production meeting with the rest of the team and preparation for his film role. The film will be shot on location with African scenes being shot in Maun while USA scenes will be done in Los Angeles.

The film story
The story unfolds in Maun, where there is an ardent manhunt for the abominable poacher Swahili (played by Cameroonian actor producer Henry Obama) and his henchmen; one of them Ntemwa -played by yet another local, Ricardo Mokwena) who are hunted by the Botswana Defence Force  (BDF) for their crimes.
We are then brought to the main theme of the film, which is awareness of wildlife slaughter for personal financial gain with the idea being to shed light on the horrors of poaching.

Through the series of events we see the two brothers one black another white (to be played preferably by Michael Jai White and Anton Kasabov) caught up in a chain of poaching, murder, robbery, political conspiracy and the fight for their lives. They flee Botswana to Los Angeles to seek refuge from their uncle (to be played preferably by Chuck Norris). There they get entangled in a plot to assassinate a man who is running for governor- the assassin will be played by Taemi K Kim).

Mokwena revealed that even though well-known faces from across the globe will be featured in the film special preference will be given to Batswana. “We have had numerous film projects in Botswana, but none of the Batswana were given serious acting roles. With Blood Brothers it is safe to say that this will not be the case” he said.

Author inspired by Khama
Speaking to The Midweek Sun producer and script writer Mafate said the script concept was inspired by President Ian Khama’s commitment to protect wildlife to an extent of issuing a directive of taking the fight to the poachers by involving the army; the idea of having two Batswana boys, one white the other black, as the central characters. He says the element of multiracialism adds credence to the fact that, “We are indeed a blue, black, and white country.” That is how Blood Brothers-the film was born.

“This will also make way for our culture to be exposed, not only through the background scenery in camera shots and variety of colorful characters but also through our local music which will be added into the motion picture. The sound score team will carefully arrange and select local music to be used in some certain scenes, music that strongly reflects our culture suitable for an international audience.”

Mafate said the film comprises of many themes to keep the audience enticed although the main theme is the fight against poaching; other themes will range from self-discovery, greed, rejection, importance of family, forgiveness, inferiority complex, to racism and others all crammed up in the film to give you an explosive on screen experience.

The good
Speaking to The Midweek Sun, the excited Mokwena revealed that the film will help our tourism industry and put it on the world map. “This is my first feature film as an actor and associate producer shadowing Mafate.

It was a childhood dream to do this and heavily influenced by Mafate himself my style of film making is also derived from the likes of Francis Ford Coppola (The Godfather, Apocalypse Now), Stanley Kubrick (Full Metal Jacket), Michael Mann (Collateral, Last of the Mohicans), Robert Zemeckis, (Cas Away), Mel Gibson  (Apocalypto, The Passion of the Christ), James Cameron (Terminator 1 and 2) Steven Spielberg (Jaws) and the list is endless. “Even though I want to be an actor, and I am very excited about this my love really lies within film-making and at the present moment I have written 50 film projects in a period of one year that have yet to materialise.

My style is controversial, some films will be Biblical some won’t be, but they will all capture your imagination. The other beauty is that this job entails that I travel the world-for every film project, which has a different film setting. The future will see me travelling to places like Russia, Brazil, Japan, Antarctica, and having to learn languages of these countries as well.”

Future dream
Mokwena would love to do a feature with the Ferguson’s, Connie and Shona and they will be his next project after the one titled ‘Man of War’ about a hitman in Mzansi who wages a one man war against taxi drivers who brutally assaulted a woman for turning down their acquaintance’s love proposal and along the way he uncovers an illegal arms ring involving top ranking government officials. The story is part fiction and part reality and it attacks South African’s apathy towards violence against women.

“I will also come back to Botswana again with Sebati to do ‘Kahuru An African Legend’ which Sebati wrote and will direct about a chief who has to deal with an invading Afrikaner army, slave traders-and a village curse of a man who turns into a leopard at night and goes on a killing spree (Set in the 1800’s Botswana).” These are all future projects; but  for now, all eyes are on Blood Brothers.

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Sheila Tlou: I am ready to serve under Masisi

Keletso Thobega

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NOT HAPPY: Sheila Tlou says she gets embarrassed having to continue telling the international community that Botswana is a country of peace while its leaders hackle each other in public

Young people, particularly girl children who want to advance in their careers and participate in governance and leadership should forget about boys and focus on their personal development.

This was said by Sheila Tlou in an interview with The Midweek Sun this week. Tlou was recently listed among the 100 most Influential African women by Avance Media.She was recognised in the Diplomacy category.

Tlou, who is currently the co-chair of the Global HIV Prevention Coalition initiated by UNAIDS and UNFPA, and the co-chair of the Nursing Now Global campaign, has an impressive and well-documented legacy in the health sector that includes a tenure as Minister of Health in Botswana and a stint as chairperson of the African Union ministers of health.
Tlou expressed hope that this award would serve as inspiration for many Batswana who are committed to serving their country diligently in any capacity to persevere and remain steadfast in their chosen fields.

She was positive that more Batswana women would be included in the coming years because “she is not the only one” pointing out that there are many Batswana who are doing great work in development.

Meanwhile, Tlou said she would not turn down President Mokgweetsi Masisi if he were to summon her to take up any role in his administration. “I have a lot of respect for Masisi. I can identify with him as someone who grew up in a rural village and has worked his way to the top,” she said.

She said Masisi could elevate the lives of young people and help them tap into the arts industry, which is a minefield with potential to grow the economy. “He has a background in acting and therefore has an understanding and appreciation for the arts and the contribution they make to not only character building but also economic opportunities,” she said.

She however noted that she had Batswana’s interests at heart and would support anyone voted to be president. She did not want to be drawn into the feud between Masisi and former President Ian Khama as well as the infightings that have seen the BDP dealing with yet another breakaway party and mass resignations but pointed out that like all other Batswana, her hope is that the two individuals would resolve their issues and bury the hatchet.

“As a Motswana who travels across the world, I spread the message of how our country is a land of peace and tranquillity. What is happening obviously does not sit well with me especially as civil developments are not taking place.

“We need to focus on the needs of people rather than the needs of individuals. That said, I look forward to elections and working on the national mandate to improve the lives of Batswana. I hope that whoever loses will hold their horses and support the elected President of our country.”

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‘Come back home,’ Masisi to Khama

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COME BACK BOSS: Masisi wants Khama back at BDP

President Mokgweetsi Masisi is gravely worried about his predecessor Ian Khama finding a new home in the opposition block.

Khama ditched Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) early this year indicating that the party has lost focus and was no longer welcoming. He left the BDP following his protracted standoff with Masisi after the latter assumed state presidency.

Masisi told a BDP gathering this past Saturday in Goodhope when launching Parliamentary candidate for the constituency Eric Molale and his councillors that he feels sorry for Khama. According to Masisi, the opposition especially Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC), is abusing and using the former president for their gain in the coming general elections. Khama, who is founding Patron of Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) has revealed that his party will work with the UDC to ensure that the BDP loses the election.

Khama has explained that they have no problems with some of the BDP candidates that they are targeting, but rather their leader.While some BDP members now feel that Khama is better-placed with the opposition rank given his unwavering attacks on the ruling party, Masisi wants him back ‘home.’ “It is heartbreaking to see how the opposition is treating him. Those people do not love him. If there are people who love him, it is us at the BDP.

“They are abusing him. You have to pray for him to come back home where he belongs. Churches and diviners have to do something about the situation so that he would see the light and return home,” said Masisi.

The president feared that the opposition is using Khama for political mileage and would dump him after the general elections. He called on Batswana to give his party another chance at the polls so that he could execute his mandate of uplifting the lives of Batswana. According to Masisi only the BDP has the interests of the country and its citizens at heart.

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