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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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Police blast man with fire extinguisher

The MidweekSun Admin

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Life has not been easy for Rakhuna man, Gaitsiwe Moroka since a police officer blast a fire extinguisher in his face at a roadblock near Pitsane this year on April 25.

The police were on duty and as a norm, they were checking for among others, the presence of a functional fire extinguisher in a kombi which Moroka and other five other passengers and their driver were using. When The Midweek Sun interviewed him on Monday, pain was written all over his face.
His is a clear sign of depression.

“My life changed drastically this year after the incident. I was on my way from signing an agreement for a tender with Botswana Defence Force camp when the police stopped our kombi at a road block in Pitsane. There was a long debate between the two police officers and our driver about the functionality of the fire extinguisher.
All of a sudden, one of the officers sprayed the fire extinguisher without checking if it was functional or not, and he directed the nozzle inside the kombi,” he said, adding that he was on his way to Lobatse where he stays.

High Court papers dated August 30, 2018 show that Mfosi Legal Attorneys are handling the case in which the victim is suing the BPS for an amount of P2.84 million.
He says although there other passengers in the kombi, he was the one most affected. The High Court documents state that the police officer did not even bother to check on the health of the commuters nor apologise for his extremely dangerous negligent act.

The kombi would then leave for Lobatse and just before it arrived, the plaintiff’s claim notes that it was apparent that the powder had affected his sight and he started regurgitating unabated, lost consciousness and woke up at Athlone Hospital with an oxygen mask strapped to his face and intravenous drip in his arm.

“To date, Moroka, 40, has a constant whooping cough and has been informed by doctors that it will take several years for the noxious elements used in the fire extinguisher to completely be flushed from his body,” says the summons, further stating that doctors had also detected likelihood of asthma.

It says that due to the gross negligence of the police, Moroka is currently unable to work, let alone work around dust. This, it says, has caused a great financial burden on him due to the fact that he is a builder by profession, and is not able to take care of his two minor children. Moroka, according to the sheet, has developed a very itchy rash all over his skin since the incident.
“What is more disconcerting is that the police have never bothered to check on the health of the plaintiff or even issued an official apology. Thus his compensation demands include gross negligence at P1 million, pain and suffering at P1 million, loss of income at P84. 200.00 and cost of the suit
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‘I feel weak’ For Moroka, the incident has left him helpless. He has given up on life and wishes himself dead. “I’m always thinking about killing myself but I always think about my two children. If I die anytime, Batswana must know that government killed me. I have no food, no income but I am a man. I believe in using my hands and legs but now my health does not permit me to walk in the sun. I’m supposed to be resting but I’m now giving up on life,” he said.

He won the children’s custody after his divorce three years ago. He is now afraid that he would lose the children because he cannot afford to take care of them. “My life is stuck. I’m sad and empty, and in deep pain. My lungs are weak. Police do not care about me after what they did to me and I’m now on my own. Government clinics do not have all the medication and my sprays, and I have to travel to Molepolole at times. My bones are always in pain and I am now on a special diet which I can’t afford,” he said.

His comprehensive report card shows a dysfunction in the heart, lungs, bones, skin and eye and makes an expert advice which is basically expensive diet and resting most of the time. Several times he had fainted while walking and at one time it happened while he was in Mafikeng, visiting a relative. He was admitted at a local clinic.
Doctors that have been attending to him since the dreadful incident that shows a common denominator of Carbon dioxide inhalation that affected his skin, sight and respiratory system. He has started counselling at SBRANA Psychiatric Hospital.

He said that efforts to seek help from BPS Commissioner KeabetsweMakgophe were futile. “I’m always told he is away,” he said. BPS Assistant Commissioner Dipheko Motube could not respond to questions sent by this reporter by press time.

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Botswana Creative Business Cup winner, Mmono joins global comp. in Denmark

Keletso Thobega

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Botswana Creative Business Cup Nicolette Chinomona says that government should channel funding and business support among youth towards the creative industry instead of focusing on traditional sectors.

This year’s winner of the cup is Lebogang Mmono of Just Ginger Beverages. Chinomona told The Midweek Sun that she applied for the license of the international entrepreneurship competition because she noticed that local entrepreneurs, particularly youth, were not getting the necessary support.

“I wanted to help develop the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the country by generating attention for startups that aren’t traditional, that are in the creative space and think out of the box; because there isn’t enough risk appetite for supporting those kinds of startups”, she said.

Chinomona said that government has been quite deliberate in helping businesses start-ups, but the key challenge is that the government has to use the resources it has to fund business models that it feels can succeed and become a core part of the economy.

“A lot of potential sponsors and funders are intimidated at the prospect of putting money into a local enterprise.”Chinomona said that it was only entrepreneurship that could change the economic dynamics of Batswana’s lives. “As a society we need to change the narrative around entrepreneurship, we need to begin to acknowledge that while entrepreneurial paths are fraught with risks and challenges, that entrepreneurship is also a huge part of developing a sustainable economy.

“We need to be realistic, not everyone can have a conventional white-coller career. Someone has to produce the goods that people with careers want to spend their money on and entrepreneurs can make an excellent living and even thrive on that. I believe that changing the conversation around this means pushing back on the idea that failures become entrepreneurs.”

Chinomona said since working with young entrepreneurs, she had noticed that one of the key things that they say they need is mentorship. “A lot of them have the raw skill but they don’t have the business skills to be able to sell what they can easily make.

“And also they are hungry for community and collaboration, because being an entrepreneur can be isolating and discouraging.” Meanwhile, Mmono is preparing to take part in the global competition in Copenhagen, Denmark next month. She said she hoped to network and find ways to break into the global business sector by selling her uniquely Botswana products and partnering with other entrepreneurs.

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