Basotho on Wednesday had a chance to view their own soapie, Our Times, when it was shown on South Africa’s e.tv.
The drama series, according to its producer and director, Motheea Mpharoane, centres around the lifestyles of middleclass families namely the Mphatšoes, Mofokengs and Mpharoanes and is about betrayal, tragedy, romance, and customs, among other themes. The soapie would be aired weekly beginning next month, making history in Lesotho’s entertainment industry.
“Our Times is a locally produced soapie from A-Z, and entirely done by Basotho. It showcases how the middleclass lives in this country in contrast to the way an ordinary Mosotho lives as per our culture, traditions and norms,” said Mpharoane.
“As a soapie, the storyline is multifaceted; there are many stories running forward concurrently and we capture all aspects of them.”
Mpharoane said they had shot 90 episodes, which would air from Monday to Friday at 9pm. Mpharoane noted shooting of the scenes started in early 2014, with e.tv purchasing the first season which has 60 episodes.
“I just wrote an e-mail to e.tv explaining what the series is about and they asked me to send them three episodes, which I duly did.
“They watched it and got back to me saying ‘We want to buy it’. We signed a three-year contract in November 2015 for the first season with an option to renew it,” said Mpharoane who used to be an Economics lecturer at the National University of Lesotho.
Not wanting to be left behind, Mpharoane indicated that last week they signed a deal to air the soapie on Lesotho Television during the first week of next month.
Mpharoane said he was happy that a local production had made it in such a competitive market.
“First and foremost, the dream has been realised of producing a daily soapie that captures the life of Basotho. At the same time, we have managed to create employment for kids who have studied drama and other forms of production like videography and editing.
“My aim is for the drama to be a mouthpiece for Basotho and to teach our children what Lesotho is and our culture in general,” said Mpharoane.
He appealed to viewers to watch and analyse the series critically so that they can grow and improve the script.
“To Basotho, there’s the series; it’s not mine, you should critique and not destroy it. Nobody thought something of this magnitude would materialise. Use it as an example of how far you can go if you really want something,” said Mapharoane.
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