Thursday, June 30, 2022

Celebrating African storytelling through local film

Since 1963, Africa Day (25th May) has been celebrated annually in different parts of Africa in commemoration of the foundation of the Organisation of African Unity (now known as the African Union). At MultiChoice Botswana, Africa Day has been a day where the organization focuses on what it means to be African, particularly through what we as Africans are best at doing; storytelling.

With a vision to be Africa’s most loved storyteller, MultiChoice Africa has supported the growth of pan-African content for decades by providing the best in African entertainment across the continent. In Botswana specifically, efforts have been made to ensure that local content is supported and grown through strategic partnerships MultiChoice Botswana has made with local content owners.

In 2022, MultiChoice Botswana commemorated Africa Day by hosting an intimate gathering of stakeholders in the creative community stakeholders to a movie night of African stories.

“For the past 30 years of our existence in Botswana, it has always been part of our mission to provide our Batswana viewers with ease of access to the home-grown content available through our local broadcasters such as BTV and NOW! TV, as well as our local radio stations on our platform,” said Lorato Mwape, MultiChoice Botswana Managing Director of MultiChoice Botswana. “The growth of channels such as NOW! TV is critical to the growth of our local creative industry and since the channel’s onboarding onto DStv over two years ago, we’ve been determined to provide our support to see it flourish.”

Held at the recently revamped Molapo Theatre in Gaborone, MultiChoice Botswana’s celebration of Africa Day included the viewing of local film, From Above, produced by Ru-Toka Productions, which was recently licensed by NOW! TV (DStv Ch 298). The film focuses on an unfortunately common custom in society where disabled children are hidden away from the rest of the community for fear of embarrassment. After giving birth to her disabled daughter, Kelebogile Disana*, or Kelly-D, leaves her child with her mother as she proceeds to the city to live a life free of stress and shame that mothering her daughter has brought upon her. Kelebogile’s life takes on a new chapter when she gets involved in a committed relationship with Shaun*, a go-getter city boy who has no clue of Kelebogile’s secret past and secret child.

Speaking on the inspiration behind the film, Thato Radijeng, the film’s producer said the following: “The film seeks to uncover as well as highlight how people with disabilities, with particular reference to children, should not be hidden but instead be made to belong in the family set. The film therefore seeks to bring to the forefront the rights of people with disabilities, and the challenges and dangers they may face, if they stay hidden.”

From Above, is a pertinent example of the significance of storytelling through film. It is more than just entertainment but also a means of bringing societal issues that affect all of human beings to light.

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