If you grew up in the kasi “ghetto” then the word “mhele” will sound very familiar to you.
According to Google Mhele is a strategic African board game played by 2 players with the aim of capturing opponents’ pieces.
Mhele Productions, a Botswana Facebook page made me feel nostalgic recently when I watched their comedy that is built around this African board game concept.
For the two young men behind this comedy game, it has not only made them a Facebook sensation but it has opened doors for one of them at the SADC online Radio based in South Africa.
26-year-old Rudisang Afetseng Wilson who goes by the stage name Kario, from Serowe found himself talking to the SADC online Radio manager after seeing their mhele production clips on Facebook.
Kario says: “He commented on one of the video clips we had shot with a young boy which the manager really liked. He contacted me privately and when he found out I was a teacher he asked me to apply for an interview at the Online radio station to which I did and I got through.”
Kario is a temporary teacher in Pitsane at Maiphitlhwane Primary School where he resides. Together with his partner, who is also a teacher at Borolong Vocational Training Centre (BVTC), Kentse Madome who goes by the stage name Moshweshwe have built this comedy called Mhele Productions that is predominantly on social media.
Mhele Productions is a comedy that was started during the first lockdown in 2020 says Kario.
“We do this comedy playing the mhele game and making jokes. It has grown so much that we now do adverts for various companies while playing the game. We do poetry as well. We started off as actors and this is how we were able to set up this comedy,” he noted.
Growing up as an orphan, he nearly gave up on his life while in school. He says the loss of his parents took a toll on him and he started heavily imbibing on alcohol. It wasn’t long before he decided to make a turnaround to become better person. He enrolled in sports and performed exceptionally well and his academics also improved.
Kario graduated with a diploma in Secondary Education in 2017 before becoming a temporary teacher in 2018.
The two teachers met through their love for drama and acting and formed a constituency drama group called Morokotso Theatre Arts which they have won Presidential competitions.
“As our drama group was starting to grow the government declared a national lockdown and we found each other stuck together playing this mhele game and that is how we created our very first mmaboipelego script which we filmed and uploaded on Facebook and that is how Mhele Productions was born.” He added.
Kario says his partner will not be left behind as he is busy working on their video clips while he works on the radio side so that once SADC TV is up and running their content is also ready.
Kario presents a show called Youth League Drive on SADC Radio that airs on Saturdays 9-12pm. The show’s aim is to address issues that affect young people like unemployment and how young people can actually capitalize on social media to export their talents to the rest of the world.
He says SADC radio is becoming big as they were celebrating 1.7 million listeners across the world recently.
According to the SADC radio website their aim is to develop African countries with their content and expand knowledge of Africa as a whole.
Kario is the latest addition to the station but he says support from Batswana has been tremendous and is building up as they have been tuning in and downloading the app.
He says Batswana should use him and notes that there are some local artists that have been sending him songs that have been given air play and are being requested in other countries.
He also notes that this is a great way for Batswana and mostly artists to penetrate in to the region and the world.