Connect with us

News

BOTSWANA MARTIAL ARTS FILM COMING SOON

Published

on

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.

Continue Reading
Comments

News

Batswana’s sorry lives

Keletso Thobega

Published

on

For scores of Batswana, life is a mundane routine of trying to make ends meet. An economist once indicated that many Batswana are a meal away from poverty.

In fact the 2016/17 report of Botswana Statistics indicates that most Batswana in urban areas live below the poverty line. Meanwhile, unemployment among youth stands at 23%. The report also indicates that a great number of Batswana earn on average of P4000 while a lot more still live in one-room dwellings. The gap between the poor and the rich is ever widening and incomes are not enough to cover the high cost of living while prospects are few and wide apart.

Thabiso Makatse came to Gaborone in search of greener pastures but has been disappointed. “After two years of unsuccessfully applying for jobs, I decided to move to Gabs from my home village. I did odd jobs – from store cashier to petrol attendant. I also dabbled in entrepreneurship, selling car parts and clothes.”

Faced with taking care of his younger siblings, parents and child, he had to try everything to make ends meet and he is still riding that boat. Makatse says that the stress of being anxious about an income and being unemployed with nothing stable in the horizon had a negative effect on him. “In the world we live in, you only make sense when you have money. Even in relationships it is difficult because women don’t like broke men who cannot take them out or give them money. It can be stressful when a woman expects money for nails, hair or clothes while you are worried about where your next meal will come from.”

Depression brought on by socio-economic stress is widespread in the country. A source at the Sbrana Psychiatric Hospital in Lobatse says that in the past decade, the hospital has registered a higher number of patients, most of who come with stresses related to money, work and other issues affecting their socio-economic status. “Issues such as retrenchment, debt and bad financial decisions in business can land one on their back. We see more people struggling to keep in the socio-economic landscape, and it affects their psychological well-being and brings on mental illness brought on by compounded stress.”

Psychologist Thelma Tlhaselo-Majela concedes that unemployment or inability to generate an income can have a negative effect on individuals. “The most significant is the realisation that one may have all it takes to find a job including wishes and desires to do so nonetheless are unable to work because of circumstances beyond their control. In some instances, the situation may push one to opt for jobs that are far below one’s qualifications thus compromising potential and inner capacity simply because they want to be engaged.

When one realises that they cannot get meaningfully engaged, this may provoke residual effects because employment has some invaluable benefits in balancing the equilibrium for quality life.” She further says that it is crucial to recognise that gainful and fulfilling employment contributes to shaping the foundational state of the socio-psychological and economic well-being at individual, familial and national level.

“It is in our work, job or occupation that we willingly spend long hours of our time and this grounds structural patterns for daily routine hence people deriving corresponding fulfilment for purpose and existence. The disruption of this patterned routine has potential to throw one in a state of chaos and disorientation especially if one is not well-prepared to adjust and handle the situation well.”

Majela explains that when these stressors set on, no matter the existing savings, the financial resources are bound to witness a gradual decline and depletion. The struggle begins in meeting basic needs while lifestyle orientation demands corresponding alterations. The key indicator in the family lifestyle change often impacts on children because some may not fully comprehend what is going on. Lifestyle reorientation may demand moving from large to smaller houses, private to public schools, smaller cost effective cars, humble meals and clothing and these new dynamics may shake the familial structure into diverse difficulties and conflicts.”

Majela explains that our occupations and work spaces constitute the inseparable nature of our psychological identities due to the intra-inter-personal development that happens especially if one loves and enjoys what they do.

“The psychological identity connects with the socialisation processes where we received messages, positive or negative, early in life from people around us. In our daily social activities, the purpose and meaning of life is then shaped by and through the communication we internalise through our social space.” She further points out that being ‘judged’ can worsen the situation in people who are already struggling to make ends meet.

“Anyone who receives verbal and non-verbal communication that undermines their inner worth contributes to the onset of anxiety and depression. The psychological state of rejection, discouragement, coupled with deterioration in hope, pride and self-esteem impacts on mental well-being.” Majela points out that a deep sense of depression expressed through hopelessness and helplessness can throw one into psychological damage expressed through self-harming behavioural patterns such as self-cutting, hair pulling, addiction to alcohol and drugs, sexual and eating disorders to mention just a few. “The loss of employment on the other hand provokes psychological pain leading to grief and bereavement, which can be just as real and actual as loss of death of a loved one.”

She adds that it is not uncommon for people to begin to experience mental health issues because often their thought patterns may become irrational and distorted and may dig into suicidal ideation.
Majela suggests several ways that people with depression related to their socio-economic situation can be assisted that include acceptance of situation. “When people are thrown into chaotic states of life, they unconsciously engage psychological defence mechanisms which often work on short term basis and can be detrimental when applied on long term basis.

These defence mechanisms include denial, repression, reaction formation and intellectualization. The quick psychological acceptance helps to propel one to shift into being open to seeking, receiving and committing to the necessary and available intervention support.” She also recommends seeking counselling and psycho-social support. Majela also suggests transformational thinking with cognitive reordering.

“Any new life orientation bringing change in our lives tends to provoke discomfort and often people are tempted to resist the change. It is necessary for people to challenge their thinking patterns by redirecting, refocusing and re-establishing new ways of processing information. Transformational thinking influences us in relooking at situations sometimes with the ability to let go and forgive which requires a new mindset in looking at situations of life,” she said. She also recommends regular physical exercise, journaling, and spiritual connection.

Majela notes that a stress free life may not be a reality hence it is necessary to have a proactive, systemic and holistic approach to managing socio-economic landscape and its associated challenges to reduce the bumpy impact of life stressors.

Continue Reading

News

BDP elections in doubt

Published

on

Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) is a party in disarray at the moment, and uncertainty reigns over what the future really holds at Tsholetsa as the 2019 general election looms large.

Tensions abound within the party, with glaring factionalism taking centre stage and prompting a call by some, for the party’s elective congress to proceed without election of a new Central Committee. The BDP’s Secretary General Mpho Balopi has since revealed that party members will use the impending National Council to deliberate whether to hold an elective congress or not.

As per its constitution, the party holds an elective congress every two years. Already, some democrats have shown interest to challenge the current Central Committee members for office.
Even though the party has not given the green light for campaigns, democrats vying for office have started speaking to fellow party members to lobby for votes. The divided party’s break or make elective congress is expected in the month of July at a venue and date yet to be decided.

There have been calls by some democrats for the party not to hold an elective congress, even at their other structures. This year the party is expected to have a Youth Wing elective congress, Women Wing elective congress and a National Elective Congress. This publication has established that there is a lobby for a compromise, but chances of the compromise deal succeeding are very slim, inside sources say.

This is because despite Balopi’s assertions that the party emerged united from the Palapye retreat, there is a strained relationship between the current leadership and some members of the party including ministers, Members of Parliament and Councillors.

Those who believe the current central committee has failed the party are pushing for the elective congress while those sympathetic to the leadership want a compromise. Their contention is that since it is election year, they have to focus on general elections to win with large numbers instead of being distracted by inner party elections.

However the opposing side has stood by the party constitution and wants it to be followed to the letter and respected above all else. In the past, compromise deals were made and elections were avoided at the request of then President Ian Khama.

Balopi told members of the media in Palapye after the party’s retreat that the National Council which traditionally is held in March, would deliberate on the question of the elective congress. “We have tradition as BDP that during election year we avoid elections internally and focus on general elections.

The issue of the youth wing, women wing and national congress will be discussed during our national council,” he said. Balopi stated that the democrats who attended the in-house meeting were on the same page that the matter should be taken seriously because of the impact it could have on the performance of the party in the general elections.

Continue Reading

Trending