Filmmakers, MultiChoice In Quest of Botswana’s Stories

  • There is a huge appetite for compelling local stories with mass appeal
  • Says the key to good stories is fascinating and engaging characters


Born out of an industry need for upskilling and telling Botswana’s authentic stories to the world on the DStv platform, MultiChoice Botswana recently facilitated a content creators’ workshop in Gaborone.

The workshop was the company’s way of giving value to local content creators and facilitating creation of a pipeline of talent that should result in a considerable turnaround for the local content industry.

“The reason we have these masterclasses is to bring in different elements of filmmakers and creators to continue to grow the industry and take our content to the world,” said MultiChoice Botswana Corporate Affairs Manager, Thembi Legwaila, at the workshop.

“Our turn”

In an interview, film producer, director and actor Tumelo “King Tux” Johwa of Indygenius Media Group said the workshop was relevant because it opened their versatility and innovation by creating what they want.

He added that industry players were restricted by what was offered locally in the past but they now have an opportunity to expand into productions that are more appealing to different people.

“My favourite takeaway is that we can now tell our stories to the world because we have a uniqueness about us, especially with the DStv platform on the pan-Africa level,” Johwa said. “We have heard of Kenyan and Nigerian stories over and over. It is now our turn.”

Universal themes

Senior Manager of Scripted Content at MultiChoice Group, Tebogo Matlawa, said the key to all good stories is fascinating and engaging characters. In a drama, for instance, much of the enjoyment comes from sympathising with the undeserved suffering of the lead character who is better than the viewers in some way.

“People watch TV to be entertained, he stated. “Stories must revolve around universal themes such as love, betrayal, and family. Dramatic irony, social realism, the relatable world of the story, and memorable and authentic characters make an authentic Botswana story.”

Living in a complex world with compound challenges, Senior Manager-Content Strategy at MultiChoice Group, Melusi Sibisi, said it is important to keep up with changing content consumption trends.


He noted that after the COVID-19 pandemic, impact of technology, social media and globalisation, proliferation of media platforms and geopolitics that impact the economy and livelihoods is the current context in which the industry is operating.

“People have turned to entertainment more than ever for escapism. There lie opportunities of great vision of telling compelling stories, have deep understanding of our audience and agility to change and use the different mediums to create and tell your story,” Sibisi said.

He added that there is a huge appetite for compelling local stories that have mass appeal and travel beyond Botswana’s borders.

No rate card

Most content creators were also interested in finding out the rates for content supplied for an international platform such as DStv. In response, Matlawa said there is no rate card because it all starts with understanding show business as every movie or concept must show a return on investment.

“You need to establish the cost of creating a movie or content in Botswana,” he noted. “How much are your production costs? There is something called cost and what you want as a creator.

“When you are working with people’s money, you need to show that there will be a return. It’s a business and not a hobby, and we must give value for money.”