Sunday, April 2, 2023

Batswana not ready to let SABC-TV channels go

Batswana have been living in fear ever since it was announced that E-Botswana won a court-case against the SABC signal distributor, SENTEC. E-Botswana proposed that SABC-Tv improves the encryption on their signal so that it does not reach Botswana through what is commonly known as Philibao decoder, a satellite dish allegedly designed by the master designers/creators of counterfeit products.

Chinese products, commonly known as Fong Kongs in these shores, sometimes, though rarely, operate better than the originals even if it’s only for a short span of time.

Fong Kongs come as a blessing to those who can’t afford the ridiculously prized originals.

In this instance, Philibao came as a messiah to people who might not have enough income to afford the luxurious DSTV decoder in a country whose TV industry is still in its infancy.

Philibao comes with SABCs, religious and news channels amongst others. These channels are welcome and esteemed in Botswana like one would a glass of water in a desert.

Currently, Botswana has two TV stations that barely satisfy the appetite for entertainment of an average human being.

Speaking to one of our residents whose home is located in the Kalahari Desert, I was told that those in power are only out to punish Batswana.

“What they want to do is pure cruelty. What will be left for us to watch?,” she said but refusing to divulge her name save for the location of her home. “The TV stations in Botswana are not doing their jobs. If SABC-TV is around, they know that there is competition and they might actually try harder. If they manage to cut SABC-TV transmission to Botswana off, it will be further proof of how heartless people of this world are.”

Upon hearing the news, Boingotlo Gosekwang, a fourth year student at the University of Botswana was overwhelmed.

“You just gave me the most devastating news. How will the lower class survive in terms of entertainment? This is wrong,” said Gosekwang. “The economy in Botswana is really down and this dish, at least, provided entertainment and gave us a lot of varieties and saved us from the monopoly of BTV.”

Shaking her head in disbelief, Matso Buseng, another fourth year student at the highest institute of learning in Botswana said that this is an unfair resolution as it’s going to impact negatively on those who can’t afford expensive monthly subscriptions to DSTV.

She suggested that those in better placed positions should work hand in hand with our Asian brothers and sisters to come to a better resolution which will benefit all.

Some Christians also voiced their concerns saying that it would be wrong to be separated from their beloved popular Christian channel, Emmanuel TV, which is headed by the controversial TV evangelist T.B. Joshua.

A representative from Botswana’s National Broadcasting Board, Dr. Masego Ayo Mpotokwane, confirmed that if and when Philibao is cut off everything will be affected, including the beloved T.B Joshua’s TV channel. Asked if those in the television industry of Botswana can effectively entertain Batswana, he started off by explaining that entertainment has different definitions.

“The audience varies a lot about what is good or poor entertainment. In rural areas and among the very poor their satisfaction due to the entertainment offered at BTV may differ with that among the urban and affluent groups. So it is difficult to say whether BTV can entertain Botswana effectively.”

Mpotokwane also mentioned that it should be kept in mind that nobody in this country has decided that Philibao should be abolished yet.

“It is only a judgement from a specific case in a South African court which has come up with that story.”


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