The long-awaited movie ‘The No1 Ladies Detective’ by the late Academy Award-winning director, Anthony Minghella, starring American rhythm and blues diva, Jill Scott, who plays the lead role of Precious Mma Ramotswe, this week premiered in Botswana.
I was one of the lucky people who were invited to go watch the premiere of this movie which is based on the novel ‘the No1 Ladies Detective Agency’ written by Alexander McCall Smith. The film left me speechless.
“Wow!” ÔÇô That’s all that I said after watching it on Friday at the New Capitol Cinemas Riverwalk Mall. I was just speechless, and I can tell you without any hesitation that this is indeed a must watch movie. No wonder the movie attracted 6.3 million viewers in the United Kingdom on the 23rd of last month; it is a real blockbuster.
In his remarks, the Minister of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism, Kitso Mokaila, who was officiating at this premiere, highlighted that McCall Smith’s popular books have placed Botswana under the spotlight indeed.
“The author has to date written 8 books out of the commissioned 13 by Random House Publishers, and have sold in excess of 10 million copies in the English language worldwide,” he noted. He explained that the books tell a good story about Batswana and their culture through honour.
The Minister highlighted that the making of this movie brought many people, including some celebrities, to Botswana for the first time. He said this has enabled them to experience the ‘sights and sounds’ of Botswana.
“We have already received reports that testimonies by, among others, the lead actress, Jill Scott, who have done wonders to publicize Botswana,” he said.
According to the Minister, the making of this movie has tapped on local talent and exposed many aspiring young Batswana to the film industry. During the filming of this movie, the Minister revealed that no fewer than 1250 Batswana were temporarily employed as cast, crew and extras. He said the producer has confirmed the intension to roll out the movie over the next few years based on the book series. “Furthermore the legacy will continue to attract many tourists to Botswana,” he stated.
In terms of publicity, the Minister said the movie is estimated to have generated P18 million worth of publicity on print media alone. He said BBC producers acknowledge that this was the biggest television show over the Easter weekend in the United Kingdom.
On the Director of this film, Anthony Minghella, who passed away recently, the Minister stated that he was indeed a gifted and intelligent man who endeared himself to all the people he worked with the world over.
“During the time he spent in Botswana making this movie, I came to know him as a humble and dignified man who respected the local cultures and norms,” he said. Therefore, it was not difficult for him to capture the essence of Batswana culture and norms.
“The movie was full of humour. It exactly depicts Botswana culture and this is what really made me fall in love with this film. Though it is full of humour, it does have scenes that can touch you. I will definitely recommend it to all, even to those who haven’t read the book I’m definitely sure they will love it,” said Kago Leso, Sunday Standard Advertising Executive who also had a chance to watch this movie.