Batswana audience and the Thokolosi television drama controversy

  • P J Ebewo
  • P G Mmila
Keywords: audience, Bobonong, Thokolosi, television drama, producer,


In February 2006, Botswana Television (BTV) screened a commissioned television drama series entitled Thokolosi. This drama series, which deals with witchcraft, is set in a Botswana village called Bobonong. The contents of the drama series in relation to the village attracted criticisms from the public, which culminated in a heated controversy. While a section of the Batswana audience cherished the pioneering indigenous effort of the filmmakers, a cross-section, particularly indigenes of Bobonong and their sympathizers, frowned at the production, denouncing it as stereotypical, parochial, and ethnically biased. The aim of this paper is to contribute to the ‘censorship' debate in a positive mode, by attempting to enlighten the viewing public on how to deal with works of art and to sensitize artistic producers to expectations from the consuming audience.

Keywords: audience; Bobonong; Thokolosi; television drama; producer; controversy

MARANG: Journal of Language and Literature Vol. 17 2007: pp.83-94

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eISSN: 1816-7659