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Pula Media to produce television drama

Bataung Moeketsi

PULA Media is finalising the pre-production before starting to shoot a 13-episode television drama set in Lesotho dubbed from Bophelo next month.

The exact date when the season’s pilot will air is still unknown but viewers can expect the drama to appear on their screens across the African continent and beyond from September 2020. Uncertainties brought about by the coronavirus pandemic across the globe along with regulations put in place by governments, to curb its spread have made it difficult for the show’s producers to shoot.

According to director and writer of the drama, Paul Banda Luanga Jr, the show will rival notable South African shows including Generations and Muvhango in terms of its production quality.
“It’s a soapie series that will revolutionise the television industry in Lesotho,” Dr Luanga told the Xpress People.

The production revolves around greed, power, vengeance, revenge and conspiracy as events following the death of a prominent millionaire in the Wool and Mohair industry, Jacob Mokoena, unfold.
All hell breaks loose in the Mokoena family over the deceased’s will and the anticipation of interference from a rival family.

The surviving Mokoena family comprises of a widow whom Mr Mokoena remarried after the death of his first wife, three siblings from Mr Mokoena’s first marriage and the “two-timing” sister of the deceased.

Bophelo was written six years ago, but Luanga said there have been modifications made to its script to make it relevant in today’s climate as it is a “lifestyle show”.
He said the majority of the show will be set in Maseru while it would also include cutaway scenes shot in South Africa.

The series’ cast will include Basotho actors Lehlohonolo Mayeza, former Step Up Lesotho presenter Morakane Mokete, Lineo Matlole, Tebello Lebusa, Khetsi Rapita, Linkeng Motebang and others.
“Having been caught off guard by the coronavirus pandemic, we have not conducted a full audition for the show’s cast. Therefore, we have handpicked some characters and will have an opportunity to audition the extras at a later stage.”

He added that the production will also enable him to groom female director and producer, Puseletso Sekese.

Luanga said restrictions, including the ban on gatherings of more than 50 people, have posed a challenge for them as the show’s opening scene would be the Mokoena’s funeral and considering that he is a millionaire, a large crowd of people would be expected to attend to pay their last respects.

He also said that they have engaged local writers who have already started working on the series’ second season.

Pula Media is currently in discussions with the Lesotho National Broadcasting Service (LNBS) and television stations in South Africa to find a home for Lesotho’s new show.

Engagements with possible sponsors for Bophelo’s production are also on-going.

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