Friday, March 31, 2023

DCEC to launch educational TV programme

The popular, informative and educative Botswana Police local television series ‘Itshireletse’ will soon have to contend for viewership with the upcoming Directorate of Economic Crime and Corruption (DCEC) edutainment drama which will also air on the national broadcaster Botswana Television (BTV).

Despite the agency’s lack of personnel with skills and expertise in performing arts, DCEC staff will nevertheless produce the TV educational drama, with stories range from issues of conflict of interest to bribery.

It is interesting to see how the DCEC is going to get actors and actresses who are skilled enough to convey message to their audience in a similar faction like Itshereletse actors.

Unlike the police, DCEC does not have drama groups. The Police always conduct road shows and drama to teach the public about crime. The BPS does most of its edutainment during police day or when raising funds. The police college also has a drama school with coaches with experience in performing arts.

Contacted for comment DCEC spokesperson, Motshoganetsi Lentswe, would not go into details about the upcoming educational TV drama. He however confirmed that there has been a drama proposal and negotiations with BTV.

“We are still securing funds for the drama and I am sure by January next year the drama will be ready,” said Lentswe in an exclusive interview.

However, Lentswe confirmed that DCEC does not have skilled personnel in performing arts. He said DCEC has a choir and a drama group that often perform at Kgotla educational campaigns.
But acting for camera is not like acting for the people.

Lentswe said they are also benchmarking with Itshireletse and have also gone to Hongkong to benchmark.

The DCES spokesperson said they are also in a process of acquiring top quality coaches that will train the actors, as the drama will be a “professional product.”

Lentswe said deep research is being done to make sure the drama is relevant and educative. He said the drama scrip will portray true stories they encounter or investigate as corruption busters.

Acting is a ‘scarce skill’ in Botswana country and the performing industry is in its infancy and still grappling with lack of funds and resources.

However the BPS edutainment programme has become a hit with BTV viewers, including children who are encouraged by their parents and teachers to watch it and learn that crime does not pay from early stages.

It portrays the everyday mistakes unsuspecting ordinary people commit and, in the process, the programme gives tips and information to the public to avoid similar blunders.

The programme has even attracted the attention of the highest office in the land, which recently conferred actors with the Presidential Award.

At the end of each episode, Itshireletse usually informs viewers of the most recent crimes that need public attention and also shows pictures of dangerous and wanted suspects on the run for public awareness, much like the USA programme, America’s Most Wanted. It is still to be seen whether the DCEC will not disappoint.


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