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Masego Mohwasa Takes the Stage at U.S.-Africa Business Summit to talk Empowering Botswana’s Creative Industry

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In her eagerly awaited panel discussion at the U.S.-Africa Business Summit, Masego Mohwasa, an accomplished Content Producer and Digital Content Strategist with a BA in Motion Picture Medium, will be at the forefront of the conversation on Financing the African Creative Industry.

As a distinguished filmmaker herself, Mohwasa will bring her expertise and passion to the stage, representing Botswana’s creative industry and shedding light on the specific challenges faced by talented creatives in her home country. With an in-depth understanding of the industry, Mohwasa will address the pressing issue of accessing adequate financing, highlighting the lack of institutional support and limited access to capital that often hinder the progress of aspiring filmmakers and artists.

Moreover, Mohwasa will emphasize the critical role of public-private partnerships in driving the growth of the African creative industry.

Drawing on her experience, she will discuss the importance of collaboration between governments, financial institutions, and private investors to establish funding mechanisms, grants, and incentives that pave the way for innovation, talent development, and enhanced market access for Botswana’s filmmakers.

Having witnessed the transformative power of capacity building and skills development firsthand from her experience with the Multichoice Talent Factory, Mohwasa will passionately stress the significance of investing in programs tailored to the needs of African filmmakers. Through training initiatives, mentorship programs, and the provision of educational resources, she will advocate for empowering creatives to develop their craft, navigate the complexities of the business landscape, and effectively compete in the global marketplace.

Addressing the challenges surrounding intellectual property rights and copyright protection, Mohwasa will draw attention to the importance of robust legal frameworks and enforcement mechanisms.

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With her unique blend of expertise, personal experiences, and unwavering dedication to the Botswana creative industry, Masego Mohwasa’s panel discussion promises to be an enlightening and experience for all in attendance. Her words will resonate deeply with creatives in Botswana, inspiring stakeholders to collectively pave the way for a more prosperous and vibrant creative landscape in Botswana and beyond.

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Film

Botswana’s Johnson Otlaadisa appointed as Production Supervisor for Mzansi Bioskop Local Film Project by Multichoice

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In August of 2023, MultiChoice Botswana called for the submission of local film concepts alongside the role of a Production Supervisor who would go on to produce three local films to air on Mzansi Bioskop (DStv Channel 164). After months of a rigorous adjudication process, MultiChoice Botswana is excited to announce the appointment of local Motswana film fixer and agent, Johnson Otlaadisa as Production Supervisor.

“The journey we have been on since the inception of this milestone project has been a fulfilling one which promises to expose the incredible local talent we have in Botswana’s film industry,” says Stephanie Pillay, MultiChoice Botswana Managing Director. “M-Net and MultiChoice Botswana have a shared vision to ensure that the production of the three local films which are set to air on Mzansi Bioskop later this year are produced and overseen by an individual who has not only relevant and extensive experience but an individual who has an innate passion for growing Botswana’s local creative industry. Johnson has proven to be the absolute top choice for this opportunity.”

Born and raised in Lobatse, Otlaadisa has over 20 years of experience in the performing arts industry in Botswana. He is one of the founding creators of the popular Radio Serial Drama: Makgabaneng, and the Facebook hit comedy series titled BW Trending Content. He has produced Lights Off (Drama Series), The Village Idiots (Sitcom), and Wedding Stories (Lifestyle Magazine Program) which have all aired on BTV 1, as well as Night Shift (Sitcom) and Online Celebs Game Show for Upic Tv and Btv 1.

Speaking on the significance of the Local Film Project, Otlaadisa commented, “The Mzansi Bioskop Local Film Project is an answer to a prayer that the local creative industry has held for a very long time. We have been looking for opportunities to have our stories recognized by international broadcasters and for our talent to be acknowledged in order to grow our industry. For MultiChoice to make this investment is a big win for the local industry.”

Otlaadisa is currently the Chairperson of the Botswana Screen Society, a coalition of TV/Film Associations that advises and lobbies stakeholders, including government, for the development of television and film in Botswana. Otlaadisa is also a former member of Reetsanang Association of Community Drama Groups and a Former Board Member of Botswana National Youth Council, with the inaugural BNYC TV & Film Festival being his brainchild.

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The Mzansi Bioskop Local Film Project will see three Batswana filmmakers’ concepts being brought to life and broadcast on Mzansi Bioskop; the home of locally written and produced feature films from South Africa. The broadcast of films produced outside of South Africa is a milestone not only for Botswana’s creative industry but the channel as well.

“We are proud to be part of showcasing the amazing work and creative storytelling though this project, especially because it gives a platform to share stories from other African markets,” says Shirley Adonisi, Director of Local Interest Channels – M-Net. “We hope this will go beyond the project and that we can later see more co-productions between Mzansi and other markets in the continent.”  

With the appointment of Otlaadisa to the highly coveted role of Production Supervisor for the Local Film Project, MultiChoice Botswana looks forward to announcing the names of the production houses behind the three local films in the near future. “Words can’t express how much we are looking forward to Batswana being able to see this historic moment in local film on our platform,” adds Pillay. “It’s a defining moment for us as a business as our ambition has always been to bring our viewers more local stories that connect them to DStv more than ever before.”

For more information on how to subscribe to DStv to enjoy local content and more, please visit www.dstv.com or download the MyDStv App on Google Play and Apple Ios stores.

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From Morwa Kgatleng to the World Stage: Frostbite’s Journey and Vision for Creative Expansion

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  1. Meet Frostbite, the multifaceted artist hailing from Morwa Kgatleng, whose journey from humble beginnings to international aspirations is nothing short of inspiring. Starting with a passion for music ignited in his early years, Frostbite’s path led him through talent shows and DJ mentorship under the esteemed Dj Oats of House University. But Frostbite’s creativity didn’t stop there. Embracing photography and event curation, he carved his niche, earning the moniker ‘Mr20K’ for his ambitious photo challenge. Today, Frostbite shares insights into his creative process, collaborations, and plans for global outreach, embodying authenticity and determination every step of the way
  2. Introduction: As a multifaceted artist known for your prowess in DJing, event curation, creativity, and photography, could you share a bit about your journey into the creative world and what initially sparked your passion for these various forms of expression?
  3. Frostbite. Boy from Morwa Kgatleng. Started singing at an early age, entering talent shows and winning a couple. Passion for music was born there. Started learning how to dj in 2006 under the tutelage of Dj Oats(House University). Spilled over to varsity when I went to Monash South Africa and was put in charge of the school sound system. Made it easier to get involved in various school activities where I got to hone the deejay skills. Came back from Monash and was jobless for a bit. My best friend Kabo Olesitse was already making a name for himself as a photographer. I shadowed him for a bit and when he got new equipment, he gifted me his old camera. I then embarked on a challenge to take 20 thousand pictures in one week, for free. And the moniker Mr20K was born. Registered a company in that name and we started doing event photography predominantly.
  1. Walk us through your process of creative actualization. How do you transform your ideas into tangible projects or experiences.
  2. Creative actualization has been easy for me because I surround myself with creatives. I believe in collaboration so much because I’ve seen what happens when great minds combine. So I get an idea and I bounce it off the people around me who then help me make it a tangible product. I’ve conceptualized shoots, music videos, songs and actual events that have come to life because I never worked on them alone. I watch a lot of movies, I read a lot and from these many mediums, ideas become a dime a dozen.

  1. The BW industry is tough, What excites you about creatives and being a creative in Botswana right now?
  2. To be perfectly honest, the excitement has been lacking lately. There seems to be more hurdles than actual wins. But as is the case with everything in life, commitment and consistency matter more than the excitement. Putting in the work is paramount, even on the days it doesn’t feel like it’s worth it. People can ignore you but they can’t ignore your work. In the words of my brother Stuga, ‘Nobody cares, just put in the work’.
  3. When conceptualizing events or projects, what factors do you consider to ensure they reflect your artistic vision authentically? Are there particular themes, messages, or atmospheres you aim to convey through your work?
  4. I study trends. Global trends. But I learnt the hard way that global doesn’t always translate to the local market. So I try to copy what works and discard the rest. Like I said, I’m big in collaboration so that’s a recurring element in everything I do. I believe that the only way to eat from this industry is to first make the pie is big enough for a slice not to be crumbs. I’m also very much against glamorizing what we do by seeming to portray an image that we’re caking when we’re not.
  5. Reflecting on your recent endeavors, is there a project or collaboration that stands out as particularly fulfilling or challenging? What did you learn from that experience?
  6. Recent endeavors. I’d have to say my proudest moment was when we formed RNB On The Lawn with my brother Obameng Tshukudu aka Ryno On Decks. We started so small and by the end of the year it was a full on movement. I’m very passionate about the genre and to see it grow like that was beautiful to watch. So much so in fact that I got the attention of Strictly Soul, Africa’s biggest R&B party. Just got back from rocking one of their events and it was really really affirming. Made me feel like I was on the right track. That is the highlight of my year thus far.

  1. The biggest lesson here is that as creatives, we should not just focus on the artistic side of things, but learn how to do the admin/business side of things. Your rights as an artist. Intellectual property etc.
  2. How are you staying ahead of the curve while maintaining your unique artistic voice? Are there any strategies or practices you find particularly effective?
  3. Authenticity is my strategy bro. I do what I do the way only I can do it. My voice is my voice and my sets are my sets. That’s why I don’t mind sharing my folders with upcoming djs because even if I do, they won’t play like I play. Im unapologetically me, which I’ve been told is a disadvantage. Been told I think too much of myself, im too arrogant. But where has humility gotten us Obie? We must be vocal about our talents, our capabilities.
  4. Building a strong brand identity is crucial for artists. How are you cultivating and expressing your personal brand across your various creative ventures…o kgona hang?
  5. Building myself up as a brand is something I find particularly challenging. Because as I said earlier, I’ve focused more on the creative side and completely ignored the other things, the image and the content. So I’m trying to work more on that going forward. The idea is for the name Frostbite to be synonymous with R&B in the country as well as the continent and to that end, I think I’ve done a more than decent job.Like I said, I’m not scared of putting myself out there. The worst thing I can get is a no. And we keep it moving. I send out emails with my profile and press kit. And cross my fingers.
  6. Re a itse gore o a opera. Have you considered releasing your own music in 2024?
  7. I’m in studio with Fella presently. My boy Melo and I are cooking. Ohmz The Don too. Also trying my hand at house music with a project le Dj Kzar in the works. This is the year I throw everything into this.

  8. Can you share some highlights from your recent gigs ko ntle ga BW?
    here’s really only one gig I’ve done outside so far and that’s the Strictly Soul event. From the onset, the most glaring difference was how free the crowd is. Uninhibited. Vibing and singing along to the music at the top of their voices. Whereas here, people are more reserved. They enjoy from the comfort of their seats.
  1. What are your plans for expanding your presence internationally? Are there specific markets or regions you’re eyeing for future endeavors, and how do you plan to approach them?-
  2. 😂😂I want Africa brother. Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania. Those guys are well connected the world over and chances of being spotted are higher. R&B is nostalgic. It’s universal. It’s more than a genre, it’s a feeling.
  3. Looking ahead, what excites you most about the future of your career? Are there any upcoming projects or goals you’re eager to pursue in the near future?Brother, it’s about the music this year. It’s about growing RNB On The Lawn. It’s about working with brands that align with who I want to be seen as. Music. Fatherhood. Food. Visuals.
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Film

Phala: A Botswana film showcase bound for Berlinale and Cannes 2024

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In the emerging world of film in Botswana, emerges the narrative of “Phala.” This abstract short film, born from a serendipitous conversation between filmmaker Mooretsi Gabang and a long-lost schoolmate, is poised for acclaim at the esteemed Berlinale and Cannes film festivals in 2024, alongside Gabang’s feature “Zombie Date Night in Tlokweng.”, Bone Chone of OniroHouse.

The chance reunion of these two collaborators, separated since their school days in 2008, became the catalyst for an extraordinary cinematic voyage. Gabang’s simple directive to “make it stand out” ignited a creative flame in his partner, giving rise to “Phala.” Fueled by a mutual drive to push boundaries, the team embarked on a quest to craft a visually arresting piece destined to leave an indelible mark on audiences.

With a background in music, the filmmaker drew inspiration from sonic landscapes, setting the stage for a mesmerizing audiovisual experience. Teaming up with Azizi as Cinematographer, Goaba as assistant Cinematographer, and Ipelo as Art Director, the vision began to take shape. But it was the contribution of praise poet Jabu, who delivered a stirring Setswana piece, that breathed life into the project, challenging the team to translate its essence into captivating visuals.

“Phala” transcends conventional storytelling, weaving together the rich tapestry of Setswana culture with dreamlike imagery to invite viewers into a realm of personal interpretation. Trippy Boy’s evocative musical score serves as the perfect companion, enhancing the film’s ethereal atmosphere and drawing audiences deeper into its hypnotic embrace.

For Gabang and his team, the opportunity to showcase “Phala” at Berlinale and Cannes represents not only a professional milestone but also a celebration of Botswana’s burgeoning creative landscape. While their expertise lies predominantly in corporate content, the allure of these renowned festivals beckons them to explore new horizons and assert their place on the global stage.

However, the journey doesn’t end there. A chance encounter with a South African producer during a trip to America paved the way for another exciting project. Collaborating on a demo for a film in late 2023, the team now finds themselves on the brink of pitching to Netflix as part of its development program. It’s a testament to their resilience and determination to push boundaries, proving that creativity knows no limits.

As they stand on the precipice of possibility, Gabang and his team are poised to make their mark on the international stage, armed with talent, vision, and an unwavering commitment to excellence. With “Phala” leading the charge, the world eagerly awaits the next chapter in their cinematic journey.

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