MASERU — Local RnB artist Lereng Mosoang, popularly known as Lorenzo, is a devastated young man.
His dream of producing and hosting a TV show were recently dashed by the Lesotho TV, the country’s only television station.
Sometime ago Lorenzo started making a TV programme about entertainment, culture and talent in Lesotho.
Working on a shoestring budget, he started shooting some episodes for the programme.
He called it Diary TV.
The programme, he says, was meant for Basotho youths.
All was going well until he approached the Lesotho TV management to get a slot for the programme.
He says the television management told him that the station had no budget to fund his programme but if he really wanted it to be on TV he would have to pay for the airplay.
That would have seen Lorenzo providing content to the station while also paying advertising rates for the same.
If each episode was to run for, say, 30 minutes the Lesotho TV would charge him its standard advertising rates for that amount of time.
The normal arrangement is that broadcasters buy content from independent producers.
It’s the broadcaster that pays for the content and not the other way round.
The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) sources most of its TV content from independent production houses and film markers.
“I was shocked when they told me to pay for a slot since I believe Diary TV would not only bring an entertaining programme on LTV but would also promote the tourism in this country,” Lorenzo says.
He says the programme was meant to promote local talent.
“This programme was not about me promoting myself.”
It was promoting the country and its young people, he says.
What particularly hurts Lorenzo is that he had invested a lot of time and money into the project.
“I was devastated by the response I got from LTV.”
“I never thought there would be people looking down and fail to see the impact my work could have in the country.”
He said he was shocked that Lesotho TV would reject his programme when they have a perennial shortage of content.
Lorenzo said the fact that Diary TV has been rejected is testimony that “Basotho do not appreciate what young people are prepared to offer”.
“As young people, we work tirelessly to meet the needs of our country but the people who are assigned to meet us half-way are doing nothing to assist us,” he laments.
But Lorenzo says the rejection from Lesotho TV will not deter him.
He is now planning to record the programme on a DVD that is expected to be on the shelves next month. It features a variety of local artist such as L-tour, Miss P and many others.