- Actor ends a 15-year award-winning Broadway career
- Makes new partnership with Uruguayan film director Nicolas Lejtreger
Botswana-born actor Donald Molosi has partnered with Uruguayan film director Nicolas Lejtreger for a short film that marks Molosi’s retirement from professional theatre after 22 years.
The latest offering by the Mahalapye-born polymath is called “Black is a Beginning” and is the first of a few films that Molosi will release in 2023 to reflect on his award-winning Broadway career.
“A village boy from Mahalapye became a Broadway star for an award-winning span of 15 years,” he told Time Out. “As I retire now, I am sharing how that happened. I partnered with Lejtreger on the new film because he tells human stories excellently.”
Through his London-based managers, Molosi has shared that he had initially intended to retire from professional theatre in 2020. “In 2020, I was in a pandemic like the whole world,” he explained.
“I was also personally evolving and it was not the right time for me to reflect. I feel ready now. I am going to share my retirement message in three films that will be released in 2023. In all the films I appear as my drag persona called Dumela Fella.”
Black is a Beginning
In the new film, Molosi will appear as Dumela Fella. In docu-dramatic style, he will deliver his most important thought as he exits a career that saw him making history as the first Motswana to perform on Broadway in the early 2000s. On Broadway Molosi burst onto the scene with Blue, Black and White.
This was the name that Molosi gave his country’s flag in 2007. When he later used the title for his off-Broadway play, the phrase became popular to the extent that it is a staple in today’s speeches made by politicians when they refer to Botswana unity.
“‘Black is a Beginning’ is a thank-you letter to Botswana whereas ‘Blue, Black and White’ was a love letter to Batswana,” he said. “When I named the flag in 2007, I was simply doing it for convenience as I was studying vexillology.
“I realised that our flag did not have a name or even a nickname, and so I named it. I am a citizen, why not? Now with this film I reflect on where the curiosty came from and why this flag is important to me.”
Nicolas Lejtreger and Molosi met earlier this year in London when Molosi was in the UK to give a reading at Oxford University. Lejtreger is a film director and cinematographer born in Uruguay. He works in Spanish and English. Lejtreger is known for films such as Close to the Sun and The Island of Wonder and Despair.
Said Molosi: “I immediately knew I wanted to work with Nico. I am grateful that he called me up and asked me to be part of the project. There will be many other international and diverse actors in the project and they will be revealed in time.”
Of his 22 years as a professional theatre actor, Molosi spent 15 of them in the New York Theatre District. He is currently based in Trinidad and Tobago although he is presently in London for the filming of Black is a Beginning. Black is a Beginning is currently filming in Walthamstow Wetlands in North London, England.
“I will launch more projects next year to thank all my fans who have supported me since I was a child,” said Molosi. “I especially thank my ancestors who taught me that we wear black to mourn and build, to end and to begin.”