- “Colours” focuses on issues faced by urban populations in Botswana and South Africa
- Producer notes SA has a longer TV culture
The efforts of the producers of a local drama series for international screening of their work were recently rewarded when Colours debuted on channel 1 of South African public broadcaster, SABC.
Colours is the first-ever original local drama series from Botswana to be licensed by SABC that has more 21 million viewers.
Colours airs every Sunday at 19:30 hrs.
“We travelled to film festivals selling Colours along with other productions,” said Samuel Ngwenya, the producer of Colours, in an interview.
“It was a year ago when we met our current distributor who immediately started negotiations with SABC. It basically took a whole year of negotiations for Colours to find its way to SABC 1.”
Colours centres around a young man whose character problems become his greatest strength, leading him on a journey of discovery and change.
After the sad passing away of his mother, who was the breadwinner of the family, Tirelo, performed by Tulani Tau, must quickly assume parenthood and save his teenage brother and sister from a myriad of challenges.
A breath of fresh air for SA viewers
Said Ngwenya: “South Africans have a long history and culture of television and the response has been like nothing I have seen before. They are very happy to watch a TV drama that doesn’t have familiar faces. It’s a breath of fresh air for them and they love it.”
The series reflects the reality of the myriad social challenges faced by urban populations in Botswana and South Africa and shows the daily struggles and aspirations of the people.
Real and relevant
Drugs, peer pressure, greed, dysfunctional families and HIV/Aids are some of the issues tackled by the drama that also teaches viewers about the honour of hard work in the hustle and bustle of Gaborone.
Colours was originally commissioned for Btv in 2018. Asked if the content is still relevant for today’s viewers, Ngwenya said unlike music, film production doesn’t die a sudden death.
“It takes at least 10 years for certain things to change in a society, and like most films, Colours portrays human behaviour,” he said. “The challenges, achievements and failures of the youth in 2018 are still very much the issues today. So Colours is still relevant.”
Botswana has always consumed South African content and Colours is breaking this pattern. In terms of content acquisition, Ngwenya said South Africa heavily invests in its local production and not necessarily through government tenders.
“That is the most important lesson we must draw from South Africa’s way of doing things,” he noted. “If you walk with a product that they like and can afford, they negotiate and buy it.
“Thankfully, it looks like Btv will go that route quite soon. Their programming is very vibrant with locally produced shows. We would like that for Botswana.”