Monday, December 24, 2007

Mma Ramotswe movies due in Easter

source: Botswana Press Agency
24 December, 2007

GABORONE - The release of the Hollywood movie that was filmed in Botswana, The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, has been rescheduled from Christmas Day to Easter Holidays.

The National Tourism Board says in a press statement the release date was pushed to the Easter weekend to ensure that it was adequately promoted.

This, it says, has to be done for the movie to gain maximum benefit for Botswana and for [continue reading]

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Alexander McCall Smith on The Good Husband of Zebra Drive (Video)

BBC1 unveils new line-up

source: The Guardian

The first novel in Alexander McCall Smith's bestselling series of No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency books will be transformed next year into a BBC1 drama, it was announced yesterday. A one-off 90-minute television film of the book will be a key part of the 2008 winter season, which will also include a new version of Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility.

The eight books in McCall Smith's Ladies Detective Agency series - which follows Botswana-based private investigator Precious Ramotswe - have sold more than 14m copies worldwide and have been translated into 39 languages. If the television version of the first book is successful, more adaptations from the series - which first hit bookshelves in 1998 - could follow, BBC1 said.

Singer Jill Scott will take the lead role of Precious, with Anika Noni Rose as Mma Makutsi and Lucian Msamati as JLB Matekoni.

The drama, which BBC1 bills as "poignant and amusing", will be directed and written by Anthony Minghella - who directed the Oscar winning film the English Patient - and co-written by Richard Curtis, who is [continue reading]

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Mma Ramotswe's agency may close

source: News24
2007-10-17 14:49

New York - Scottish author Alexander McCall Smith has shot to fame in the past five years with his series The No 1 Ladies Detective Agency but the future of amateur sleuth Mma Precious Ramotswe is uncertain.

While working on the ninth book in the series, McCall Smith is also pursuing about three other projects with Love Over Scotland, the third instalment in his 44 Scotland Street series, being released in the United States shortly.

He is continuing to write this in series form in The Scotsman newspaper, with volume five starting this month with about 1 100 words published daily for about 100 days.

McCall Smith, 59, who was born in what is [continue reading and find an interview with Alexander McCall Smith]

Friday, October 12, 2007

Jill Scott finds herself with Words and Sounds

source: msnbc

The singer and actress is flourishing with release of her new album, films
Seth Wenig / AP
NEW YORK - While some artists choose to keep their private life cloaked in mystery, Jill Scott’s music was so rich with details about her most intimate thoughts, even a casual listener could tell that she was madly in love with her man.

From “He Loves Me (Lyzell in E Flat)” to “Bedda at Home,” much of Scott’s first two albums detailed her relationship with her husband and manager, Lyzell Williams. The songs were passionate, sensual, emotional and spoke of a love, while not perfect, so enduring that it seemed almost too good to be true.

As it turns out, it was — Scott’s soundtrack was a lot rosier than real life.

“Sometimes I think I try to hold on [continue reading]

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The No. 1 Botswana Movie Shoot

source: The New York Times

AS Alexander McCall Smith writes in the opening of his best-selling novel “The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency,” “Mma Ramotswe had a detective agency in Botswana, at the foot of Kgale Hill.” Though her cases tend to dwell on sins like philandering and low-level insurance scams, her greatest mystery these days is whether her story can translate to film.

Precious Ramotswe has no blue steel pistol, just two desks, two chairs, a telephone and an old typewriter. Her tiny white van is incapable of high-speed chases and fiery stunts. Then there is Mma Ramotswe herself. (Mma is a local honorific.) Film sleuths usually exude chiseled sexiness and a noir persona. But as Mr. McCall Smith puts it, Precious Ramotswe is “the fat lady detective”: rounded, not chiseled; softhearted, not dark.

Would anyone watch a film about a “traditionally built” (as she puts it) shamus whose main preoccupation is contemplating her cases under an acacia tree?

The director Anthony Minghella allows that it [continue reading]

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Mma Ramotswe Movie: Boom for Botswana?


Monkagedi Gaotlhobogwe
Thu, 06 Sep 2007

Its sleepy nature was an essential ingredient to the book but tourist bosses are hoping a film version of "The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" will provide a shot in the arm to Botswana's laidback capital.

Oscar-winning director Anthony Minghella has brought a rare bustle to Gaborone since he and his crew arrived 10 weeks ago to bring Alexander McCall Smith's best-selling novel to an even wider audience.

As well as filming in the capital, Minghella of "The English Patient" fame is planning to shoot scenes in the stunning Makgadikgadi Pans, huge salt flats in northern Botswana, and has roped in locals for a funeral scene at a village on the outskirts of Gaborone.

Although one of the wealthiest countries in Africa, Botswana is keen to drum up alternative sources of income apart from its diamond mines and spectacular wildlife, which draws in hundreds of thousands of foreign visitors each year.

Gaborone a must-see destination

Tourism is now the [continue reading]

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Mma-Ramotswe Scenes Shift To Salt Pans, Okavango

source: Mmegi (Botswana)


The Hollywood euphoria that engulfed Gaborone for the last 10 weeks has finally ended after the Mma-Ramotswe movie crew wrapped up the filming at their Gaborone West Industrial production base last Thursday.

By late Thursday afternoon and the next morning, the big vehicles used by the crew were streaming out of the city to the north of the country where they will be shooting for 10 days at the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans and the Okavango Delta. Movie producer Amy-J Moore says the Delta and the pans scenes, which do not appear in Alexander Mcall Smith's book, are meant to showcase Botswana's natural beauty.

Although there are no hotels in Gweta, where the film crew and the actors will be based, Moore says accommodation is not a hindrance. " We will be using tents. We are setting up hundreds of tents at Gweta, that's where we will be staying for the next few days," she said as the team prepared to decamp.

The nation's capital may be quiet for now as far as [continue reading]

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Mma Ramotswe: Tourism Boom Offering

source: allAfrica
The Voice (Francistown)

21 August 2007
Posted to the web 21 August 2007

Chedza Simon

When filming of the No.1 Ladies Detective Agency (MmaRamotswe) movie is complete, Botswana may become a tourist hub, resembling setting areas where the Da Vince Code was filmed in Rome.

Johnny Breedt, Head of Production Design, who is responsible for setting up model villages, market areas and infrastructure where certain sets of the movie are shot, said when the movie is complete, the infrastructure shall be protected so that tourists from all over the world could visit and generate revenue for the country.

"After the movie is complete, the infrastructure shall be kept and protected for tourist attraction. The plan is to have the No.1 Ladies tour and in the future, the locations will be able to take in a lot of people who visit the country. This film has generated a lot of interest for Botswana and from my knowledge, tourists are already coming here to view the sites. Botswana will be like Rome, where a lot of people are visiting to see the Da Vince Code movie setting locations," said Breedt.

He said they invested around P5 million to set up the 25 locations around the country. According to him, most of the locations are in Gaborone and the northern part of the country. "Some of these locations are bars, villages with huts and other buildings. There is a hospital model facility at Ben Thema School, Eros Bar and the Speedy Motors in Tlokweng. Some of the sets will be made at Gweta, the Makgadikgadi Pans and Maun. These settings shall be maintained for a number of series, may be until next year because they are made to last between 4 to 5 years," said the Head of production design.

The areas, he said, will be [continue reading]

Mma Ramotswe Movie: The Funeral is Fake, But the Tears Are Real

source: Time
Monday, Aug. 20, 2007 By ALEX PERRY

By my count, we've mourned Obed Ramotswe 12 times this morning, and I'm not the only one feeling slightly overcome. His daughter, Precious, has cried her way through 12 renditions of the Botswanan funeral spiritual "Your Yoke Is Light To Carry," and when I approach her, she tearfully waves me away, saying: "I have to stay where I am." Several members of the congregation also look like they can't go on. Even the Western PR executive next to me, a veteran of hundreds of scenes like this, tells me she's finding the whole thing "really quite moving."

It's Day 30 on the 50-day shoot of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, based on the best-selling novel series by Alexander McCall Smith. One of the watchwords of the production is authenticity, which has led director Anthony Minghella to shoot the film in Botswana — a first for this tiny southern African nation — and to involve its people as much as possible. Today's scene is the culmination of months of talks with the villagers of Gabane, 15km (10 miles) outside the capital, Gaborone. First they had to be asked for permission for a film to be made on their land. Then they needed to be told that the particular scene Minghella wanted to shoot there was a funeral. And then, of course, they had to be persuaded to show up as extras.

The negotiations were handled by Bakang "B.K." Bala, a molecular biologist and sometime safari guide who is acting as cultural advisor to Minghella. According to the traditional Batswana khotla system, he made a presentation to the village chiefs, then [continue reading]

Interview: On The Road with Alexander McCall Smith

By Craig Morgan Teicher -- Publishers Weekly, 8/20/2007 1:53:00 AM

Having been born in what is now Zimbabwe and worked as a law professor in Botswana, and now living in Scotland, Alexander McCall Smith is no stranger to far away places. His bestselling No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency mystery series, set in Botswana, has inspired worldwide loyalty among fans, and huge sales. To promote the eighth book in the series, The Good Husband of Zebra Drive, Smith is doing several tours this year, which are taking him all over the world. PW caught up with Smith in New York City to talk about book tours in many nations, the salvation of the novel, and the similarities between Sweden and Boston.

You’ve done this a number of times before and have a huge fan base made up of people who know a lot about the series. What are the events like?

I think it certainly helps if [continue reading]

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Alexander McCall Smith: The day the No1 Ladies' Detective Agency came to life

source: Daily Mail UK

By Alexander McCall Smith
Last updated at 22:54pm on 18th August 2007

I suppose it's a sign of travelling too much to wake up in a static bed and think: 'We must be flying through an area of smooth air – no turbulence.'

That's what I think now, on coming to, and then I hear the cooing of doves in the jacaranda tree outside.

Through the window comes the bright sunlight that fills the air of this African winter morning. The morning air is cool, but has the quality of champagne: sharp, exhilarating, intoxicating.
Read full post

Friday, August 17, 2007

Mogae visits Mma Ramotswe set

source: Botswana Press Agency
16 August, 2007

GABORONE - President Festus Mogae visited the production set of the The No1. Ladies Detective Agency film to briefly witness the shooting first hand.

Mr Mogae met with local and foreign actors who are bringing McCall Smiths enchanting characters to life.

Among them was Jill Scott who stars as Mma Ramotswe, the series heroine, Desmond Dube, Anika Noni Rose who play quirky secretary Mma Makutsi and film director, Anthony Minghella.

He was taken on a tour of the set by Production Set Designer, Johnny Breedt, who explained that the buildings were inspired by existing establishments in Lobatse, Serowe, Mahalapye and Gaborone.

Breedt said he used the worn out paint to give the buildings the 1960s and 70s look. President Mogae expressed optimism that the film will be successful and enlighten people about Botswana.

He also expressed hope that it will go a long way to repair the countrys image, which has been tarnished by the CKGR issue.

A local film producer Moabi Mogorosi of Hot Chilli said being part of the film production is a learning experience not only for him but for the country and all Batswana who are involved.

He said what he has realised is the broadness of film making, which pays attention to coordination of all the aspect involved, including set designing, costumes, props, lighting and music.

Every day is a learning experience. One gets to realise that film making is not only about how one captures the action into film but the best coordination involved to achieve the desired result.

Mr Mogorosi has been engaged to make a documentary of how the film was made, experiences of [continue reading]

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Batswana Find Right Niche in Film Production

source: allAfrica
Mmegi/The Reporter (Gaborone)

8 August 2007
Posted to the web 8 August 2007

Maureen Odubeng

Contrary to views held by many about the No1 Ladies Detective Agency film currently being shot in the country that locals have been given a raw deal, the cast and crew include many Batswana.

Following an invitation by film publicist Joy Sapieka, Showbiz has discovered that the film producers have involved quite a number of locals in the project. While the film is being directed by renowned director Anthony Minghella, many Batswana are getting first hand training in film making through their active involvement in production. At the same time, a good number of local actors/actresses have found themselves a suitable niche in both speaking roles and extras (non-speaking roles).

Speaking to Mma-Ramotswe producer Amy Moore, Showbiz learnt that [continue reading]

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Jill Ain`t the Only One

source: allAfrica

The Voice (Francistown)

7 August 2007
Posted to the web 7 August 2007

Naledi Mokgwathi

By now we all know Hollywood is in town. The screen adaptation of Alexander McCall Smith's No.1 Lady Detective is currently being shot.

In fact the shooting of the movie, Ma Ramotswe, which set the Botswana taxpayer about P30 million, is about to fold.

Also, by now, Jill Scot is the name many are familiar with. We know she is not only the American pop star, but Ma Ramotswe in person, on the screen in fact.

We also know there is a white lady from Hollywood, Amy Moore, who when she arrived here, told all those who cared to listen that she "loves" Botswana, and still reminisces of the Peace Corps days in Mahalapye, Maun and wherever else she has been. And of course, though many of us have little or no trust in the sangoma powers, the film producer has told all and sundry that she consulted some matwetwe about the prospect of the movie when she arrived. Strange world!

And yes, we have had hints there and there of who of the aspiring Hollywood stars from GC are. But who are they really, and what are they doing there.

There are many, some having gotten some nice little contracts, while some are just happy to know their backs will whiz through our screens once the movie is out. We hear the likes of our own Kgosi Goodwill (of the Fashion Twinz) and his beautiful wife, former editor Morongwa Phala, are busy with something there. And of course the music producer, media activist, former Gabz FM morning show host, Mudhut director, Solomon "Solo B" Monyame, is fiddling with some music equipment.

We know there are there, but we will know what they were doing there for sure when Amy Moore and company show their product on screen.

The Voice sneaked in, dug and found three individuals ready to spill the beans on their roles.

Talented radio and television presenter, Gloria Kgosi is continuing her journey by spreading her wings in [continue reading]

Movie Shooting, a Memorable Experience

source: Filmmaker South Africa

Making a movie, a far away experience for most locals has been brought right to our doorstep. The Hollywood production Mma Ramotswe, which is currently being shot in Botswana, is a whole new experience for many locals and indeed a good development in the country's movie industry. by Maureen Odubeng
The crew members have set up their areas of shooting, the most prominent probably being the small village/semi town built just as you enter Kgale View. The buildings simulate the African Mall in the olden days.

To someone who does not know, the buildings look like they have been standing for a long time yet they were built only recently. Only Mma Ramotswe's office has some fresh paint.

Seeing scenes being shot is quite an exciting experience. In a nutshell, the cast and crew are always as busy as a bee, as theirs is a race against time. Movement of visitors during the time of shooting is restricted to avoid disturbances.

The preparation for the shooting is intense, and has to be done only by professionals. While actors prepare themselves, getting into the right costumes and make-up, the production crew are arranging their equipment to make sure everything is in order before the actual shooting begins.

The current location is dusty and with a lot of movement, the dust can be choking but that does not deter the committed crew. The lead actress, Jill Scott, has people they call stand-ins, who include local musician/rapper Desma Basson, musically known as Ice Queen. Her role is to test microphones, camera lighting, for the star (Jill Scott). The role of stand-in ends there - and she does not appear anywhere in the movie. As we watched the shooting, publicist Joey Sapieka explained that a stand-in in movies should not be confused with theatrical understudies as they cannot sit in for the actor in case the actor is not feeling well or should anything happen to the actor or actress.

As everything has to be perfect, the stand-in is dressed in [continue reading]

Monday, August 6, 2007

Film to boost Morwaanares business

source: Botswana Press Agency
06 August, 2007

GABORONE - Being an extra in the film and television series The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency is more than just acting but a business opportunity for Barati Morwaanare.

The 32-year-old plays the part of a street food vendor in the movie. What gives her an added edge is the fact that the role she plays is what she does in real life.

She confessed in an interview that being engaged for nine days to be part of the film provides a lifetime opportunity for her.

She sees her appearance in the film not only as monetary benefit but a marketing opportunity for her business. I consider this as a business opportunity as I will be paid P2400 for all the nine days, she said.

Asked how she intends to invest the money, she said her plan is to use part of the money to buy a Hotdog machine, adding, My idea is to expand business wise.

Ms Morwaanare said she does not usually make that much within nine days because when most of her customers have ran short of cash, she usually offers meals on credit. In real life she has been running her business for three years at a blue and white caravan nicknamed Ngalaoboe Tuck-shop. It is located at Gaborone West Industrial near Mega Tyre.

Her presence at the set as a food street vendor gives the simulated Kgale Shopping Centre a fascinating aspect of urban social life.

Her dark green painted caravan located just by [continue reading]

Friday, August 3, 2007

Scott relishes Mma Ramotswe

source: Mmegi


Jill Scott, the star playing the lead role in the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, does not take the role as a character. She has made the character she is playing a part of her. In an interview, Scott, who is currently in the middle of filming, said she talked to the director of the movie and award winner Anthony Mingella that Mma Ramotswe should be a regular person.

Scott, who felt she was lucky to have beaten all those who auditioned to play the role of Mma Ramotswe is more than passionate about her character in the movie.
"Mma Ramotswe is great, she is a strong brave woman," Scott said excitedly.

Mma Ramotswe, the character, apart from being a strong and brave woman, is doing something out of the ordinary, and Scott notes that anyone would be happy to play such a character. When talking about the character, one can see that Scott really enjoys playing the role. She said while Mma Ramotswe was doing something out of the ordinary, she was at the same a very gentle being.

"I don't know if I have done [continue reading]

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Lead Actress Checks in At Marina

source: allAfrica
Mmegi/The Reporter (Gaborone)

1 August 2007
Posted to the web 1 August 2007

Monkagedi Gaotlhobogwe

Jill Scott, the US R&B singer who is in Botswana for the shooting of the No.1 Lady's Detective Agency, had a taste of Botswana hospital facilities after being admitted to Princess Marina Hospital last week.

The filming of Mma-Ramotswe suffered a setback when the lead actress was bed-ridden, according to unit publicist Joy Sapieka.

Scott spent a few days at Princess Marina after a chest infection last Thursday, forcing her to temporarily halt her shooting. Sapieka told Showbiz that Scott, who plays the famous character in Alexander McCall Smith's novel, was one of the worst hit by flu that also affected other members of the film crew.

"She returned Monday morning for the shooting, she had not been too well, and was in hospital. A lot of crew members, including myself, had bouts of flu from last week," Sapieka said.

The publicist suspects the dusty environment was responsible for the infection. "It is dusty here all the time, she must have got it because of the dust," Sapieka said. She however would not indicate to what extent the bug had affected their filming schedule.

The movie is scheduled for [continue reading]

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

`Ladies` Detective` film brings Tinsel Town to tiny Botswana

source: The Christian Science Monitor

Alexander McCall Smith's hit book series set in Botswana is bringing big-screen money the African country.

By Stephanie Hanes | Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor
from the August 1, 2007 edition

Page 1 of 4

Gaborone, Botswana - Until Hollywood came to town, work was scarce for Botswana film producer Portia Molebedi Sorinyane. Her home country of dust and diamonds was her inspiration; but if she wanted a job, she had to cross the border into South Africa.

"There is no film industry here, so if you want to eat you need to move somewhere else," she says from behind a pair of trendy, oversized sunglasses.

But that, she hopes, is changing. This month, filming started on the first international movie ever to be shot in Botswana – The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, a movie based on Alexander McCall Smith's hit book series of the same name.

This means that Ms. Sorinyane has a gig as an assistant producer. It also means that her country of 1.7 million, whose economy is almost entirely dependent on diamond mining, may be the latest nation to cash in on Tinseltown's Africa fad and launch a lucrative new industry.

In many ways, it is fitting that the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency should be the launch of a film industry here. Mr. McCall Smith's series is set in Botswana, and focuses on the character Precious Ramotswe, a plucky, "traditionally-built" detective who solves fraud and misdeeds in Gabarone, the capital city.

The feel-good books exploded in popularity after Sept. 11, 2001 – they have been translated into 40 different languages and sold more than 15 million copies.

If all goes as planned, the movie will expand into a BBC series.

Seven years ago, when McCall Smith talked to producer Amy J. Moore about turning the series into a movie, both assumed that it would be shot in Botswana – the country that gives the story its flavor.

"We'd always talked about wanting to [continue reading]

Monday, July 30, 2007

McCall Smith assists Botswana Red Cross

source: Daily News, Botswana
By Lorato Okaile

GABORONE - About P25 000 was raised for the Botswana Red Cross Society during a fund-raising event dubbed “An evening with Alexander McCall Smith”.
The event featured Alexander McCall Smith of the best selling ‘The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency’ serialised novels.

Secretary General of the Botswana Red Cross Society, Ms Mabel Rammekwa, said in an interview that the funds would be used for various programmes implemented by the society.

The progammes she highlighted included disaster preparedness and relief, refugee health and psych-social support, Community Based Rehabilitation and the First Aid Programme.

Botswana Red Cross Society, as an impartial, neutral and independent organisation, aims to identify, prevent, and alleviate human suffering as well as to foster human dignity in all communities.
The evening also provided people who have interest in McCall Smith books an opportunity to interact with him.

McCall Smith whose books are set in Botswana shared his experiences on the popularity of the novels with the audience during a humorous interview with Mr Barolong Seboni, a poet and English lecturer at the University of Botswana.

He said Mma Ramotswe’s personality was characterised by kindness, intelligence, decency and patience is influenced by the warm nature found in most local people.
“The character is present in Botswana among the people,” he said.

He told the audience how some readers were fascinated by Precious Ramotswe the fictional central character in the series of eight novels. She is a Motswana, and the first female private detective in Botswana.

Her preferred method of travel is her [continue reading]

Friday, July 27, 2007

Batswana Writers Get McCall-Smith Tips

source: allAfrica
Mmegi/The Reporter (Gaborone)

25 July 2007
Posted to the web 26 July 2007

Gasebalwe Seretse

Renowned Scottish author of the No 1 Ladies Detective Agency series Alexander McCall-Smith sat with young aspiring writers at Maruapula's AV Centre in Gaborone yesterday and gave them tips on writing.

The Scot, who has sold millions of copies worldwide, said that before he became a well-known writer, he wrote children's books on a part-time basis.

He disclosed that he started the Mma Ramotswe Series by accident.

"I wrote what I thought would be a short story, but I ended up liking the Mma Ramotswe character so much and off she went and became a series," he said.

The series made the Scot a household name, but the author explains that although the Mma Ramotswe books are regarded as detective books, they are not 'real' detective books.

"In most detective books, characters don't die of natural cases, but in my books you would note that there are no autopsies at all," he said jokingly.

McCall-Smith asked aspiring writers not to be overly confident about their works and encouraged them to start by writing short stories before moving on to novels. He said if they started by writing short stories it would help them hone their skills and eventually write bigger volumes.

Despite his international stature, McCall-Smith comes across as a humble man who spices his talk with jokes.He joked that some people go around saying "they have stories" yet do nothing about it."Everyone has a story. If you think you have got a book inside you, have an x-ray," he joked amid laughter.

The author encouraged his listeners to fantasize when [continue reading]

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Film settings use 10 000 pictures

source: Daily News
25. July 2007

The old Kgale Post Office is one of the buildings in the set. The author of The No 1. Ladies Detective Agency Alexander McCall Smith poses in front of the building.

By Lorato Okaile

GABORONE - Production Set Designers are responsible for giving the film or television production a definite and appropriate reality.
Their main task is to ensure that the set captures the period and style of the production.
This requires imagination, creativity, interest in cultures, lifestyles, and historical periods.
Therefore, Production Set Designer of the film and television series The No 1. Ladies Detective Agency Johnny Breedt describes the task he has been assigned as a big challenge and yet wonderful experience.
Breedt said he had to embark on intense touring of villages across Botswana, interacting with Batswana so as to get an understanding of how Botswana feels like.
Among the places he visited include Serowe, the Delta, Mahalapye, Mochudi and Lobatse.
He also visited old shopping complex such African Mall and [continue reading]

Monday, July 23, 2007

Mma Ramotswe: Shooting of movie makes Kgale Hill busy

source: Botswana Press Agency
23 July, 2007

GABORONE - A simulated real-life shopping centre at the foot of Kgale Hill is currently a beehive of activity as the setting for the shooting of the movie and the television series The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency. This follows the decision by the film directors and producers to choose Kgale View as the central setting to the shooting of the movie which began on July 9 2007.

The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency is a passionate story chronicling the adventures of Precious Ramotswe, the traditionally built, sensible and wise proprietor of the only female -owned detective agency in Botswana.

Her agency is located in a small store-front at the foot of Kgale Hill. The character of Mma Ramotswe is played by international celebrity Jill Scott.

The simulated shopping centre draws inspiration from Alexander McCall Smiths serialised novels to bring to life the kind of environment under which Mma Ramotswe works as she investigates cases and helps people solve problems in their lives.

The set designed by Johnny Breedt, draws inspiration from existing establishments in Gaborone, Lobatse, Mahalapye and Serowe.

The directors have simulated, among other buildings, familiar places such a double storey building located at the shopping complex commonly referred to as Dabuthas mall and a popular chemist in the African Mall.

The mall buildings in the set include Double Joy, The Humble Pharmacy, Meat Great & Butchery, Sepadupa Spares and Repairs, Patels Comfort Store, Sorinyane Hi Tek Electricals, Kgale Post Office and Blue and Red General Dealer and, Last Chance Hair Saloon The set becomes even more familiar due to the existence of informal sector activities as vegetable stalls, iron roof barber shops, cellular phone and Kwik Recharge cubicles for street vendors.

Film Publicist Joy Sapieka highlighted in an interview that the set has a potential of becoming a tourist attraction in the future.

She said they have signed for a ten year lease with the Government and after the shooting of the film and the series the buildings will stay.

It will be a lovely idea to put it as a tourist attraction. In most countries, film sets eventually become big tourist attractions, she said.

Ms Sapieka said that in most cases after watching the movie or film people want to visit the actual set where the film was shot. She said there is a possibility of a television series for all the other series books by McCall Smith to be shot at the set.

Ms Sapieka said because of the set being closer to real-life buildings they have already received [continue reading]

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Mma Ramotswe everywhere on the Internet - links

Here are the links of the last 4 days, starting on the 8.7, found through Google Alerts. We are getting a lot of publicity through the shooting of the movie.

8. July 2007

By Chi(Chi)
[source 1, source 2, source 3, source 4]. Same dress, different pose:. which LOOK is on LOCK? more at In related news, Anika will next star in the Anthony Minghella telefilm, "The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" with ...

Piracy is Potter's biggest foe as movie opens Wednesday
By film
The film based on the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series. Harry Potter might die, predicts Radcliffe Daily Telegraph - In his interview with the MSN website, Radcliffe said that the highlight of the fifth and latest film, ...
Film -

Tea and Mma Ramotswe
By Fausta(Fausta)
I have enjoyed Alexander McCall Smith's No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency book series for several years, and just finished reading the latest installment, The Good Husband of Zebra Drive. ...
Fausta's blog -

9. July 2007

July 2007 Week 2
By Cindy Orr
No surprise here, but Alexander McCall Smith's No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency will be made into a movie. And speaking of unusual detectives, how about a flock of sheep who solve the mystery? And it's actually good enough for a Booklist ...
The Reader's Advisor Online Blog -

FEATURE - Botswana pins Hollywood hopes on 'Detective' film
Reuters India - Mumbai,India
One is Mma Ramotswe and the other is Botswana as a whole. It tries to tell a story of what is wonderful, what is magical, about Botswana and about the rest ...
See all stories on this topic

Botswana pins Hollywood hopes on "Detective" film (Reuters)
By bdh
... recipient of the John Schlesinger Britannia Award for Artistic Excellence in Directing, Reuters - Botswana is pinning its Hollywood hopes on a new film based on the best-selling fiction series "The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency."
Black Financial News Network... -

10.July 2007

Can McCall Smith's sleuth crack case for Botswana?
Scotsman - United Kingdom
AN AFRICAN country is gambling £2.5 million that a new film based on the best-selling books about The No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency will be a hit. ...
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The World According to Bertie
Sydney Morning Herald - Sydney,New South Wales,Australia
... McCall Smith's readers seem to find his tales of 44 Scotland Street marginally less engaging than his novels about the No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency. ...
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7/10/2007: Focus: Hollywood takes McCall Smith's No 1 lady ...
BOTSWANA is pinning its Hollywood hopes on a film based on the best-selling No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series. The government has gambled $5m (£2.5m) to promote the southern African country's star power. Work on the film, ...
The Herald -

Botswana pins Hollywood hopes on "Detective" film - Reuters
By glog
Botswana is pinning its Hollywood hopes on a new film based on the best-selling fiction series "The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency."... Read more... blink it.
Botswana -

Big Names for Mma Ramotswe Movie
South African Film News (press release) - South Africa
Dreamgirls' actress, Anika Noni Rose, will play Mma Ramotswe's secretary. Another main actor in the movie to be directed by award winning British actor ...
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Reuters Entertainment Summary
Washington Post - United States... Botswana (Reuters) - Botswana is pinning its Hollywood hopes on a new film based on the best-selling fiction series "The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. ...See all stories on this topic

Singer Jill Scott to star in 'Detective' film - Ireland
American R&B singer Jill Scott will star in a film based on Alexander McCall Smith's bestselling 'The No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency' series. ...
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Why are real African women so scary?
By Melissa Wall
Why is a white guy getting noticed by the Booker Prize for assuming the persona of his so-called "lady detective" Mma Precious Ramotswe? The Botswana government is aglow over the whole thing with the LA Times quoting their tourism ...
Africa Media -

11.July 2007

Botswana pins Hollywood hopes on "Detective" film
GABORONE, Botswana (Reuters) - Botswana is pinning its Hollywood hopes on a new film based on the best-selling fiction series "The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency." Aucun mot clé.
International News Portal -

Mma Ramotswe says . . .
By angela
I enjoy reading the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series of books by Alexander McCall Smith set in Botswana. Of all the books I've read in the past few years, these are the most "un-stressful" in feel. I love the perspective and simple ...
one wild and precious life -

Minghella shoots in Botswana
Screen Africa - Johannesburg,Gauteng,South Africa
On 9 July shooting began in Botswana on "The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency", directed by Academy Award(r) winning filmmaker Anthony Minghella ("Cold Mountain ...
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Two tales, two cities
Scotsman - United Kingdom
AMcS: That's exactly my experience in reverse with Mma Ramotswe books [The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency]. It was New York who discovered them, ...
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I actually finished a book?!
By sleepy jeanne(sleepy jeanne)
Mma Ramotswe on pumpkin:. She stopped. It was time to take the pumpkin out of the pot and eat it. In the final analysis, that was what solved these big problems of life. You could think and think and get nowhere, but you still had to ...
Livin' in a Blue Hick Town -

There goes the sleep
By Laura(Laura)
Go to the library. I started the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series on vacation, and I still need to read the last three books. I know that everyone read these, oh, gosh, about eighteen years ago. I think they are darling, ...
My Quotidian Mysteries -

In brief: Botswana stumps up cash for Detective Agency
Staff and agencies Tuesday July 3, 2007 Guardian Unlimited The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency: soon in filmic form! Botswana is putting up $5m for The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency , the silver screen adaptation ... via Guardian ...
Botswana -

Is'n it incredible?

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Locations and Info about the Actors

found @ Filmmaker South Africa

Moore said part of the movie will be shot in the popular Okavango Delta, the salt pans, and in the Kalahari Desert. The other parts would be shot in Gaborone and the surrounding areas.


The actor, along with the director will not talk to the media until the movie publicists have cleared the matter with their respective agencies in the US, Showbiz was told. The movie will see some 1,500 locals benefiting in support roles. About 12 local producers have been hired, as well as 111 interns, nine musicians, traditional dancers and eight Btv camera crew will take part in the movie, revealed Moore. He said 46 percent of the actors in the movie will be locals.

You find the article on Filmmaker South Africa.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

The Actors

Actors & Roles

Jill Scott

Precious Ramotswe

Anika Noni Rose

Grace Makutsi
Secretary / Assistant of Mma Ramotswe

Lucian Msamati

JLB Matekoni
Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors

David Oyelowo
(The Last King of Scottland)

Idris Elba
(28 Weeks Later)

Colin Salmon
(Die Another Day)

Winston Ntshona

John Kani


Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Singer Scott on the case as `perfect` choice for Botswana detective role

source: News

SHE was voted one of the world's most beautiful women and her extraordinary vocal skills have won her two coveted Grammy awards.

Now the American jazz and blues singer Jill Scott, 35, faces the challenge of playing the "traditionally built" Botswana heroine of The No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency.

Scott has won the central role in the television series of the adventures of Precious Ramotswe, penned by the Edinburgh author Alexander McCall Smith, it was confirmed yesterday.

A 90-minute pilot costing £20 million is being filmed in Botswana, where the stories of Mma Ramotswe, the philosophical but persistent lady detective, are set. It is directed by Anthony Minghella, who made The English Patient.

The shortlist for the role is said to have included the rap star and actress Queen Latifah, as well as the former Botswanan minister of health, after a sustained effort to find a Botswanan actress.

But a publicist for author Alexander McCall Smith confirmed Ms Scott's selection after the news began leaking out.

The screenwriter Richard Curtis, who co-wrote the script with Minghella, told The Scotsman: "I'm delighted and think she'll be great - but I'll know more after I've been to the read through in Botswana next week.

"It was Anthony Minghella who found her, and told me to check her out on the web, where she does indeed look perfect."

Jill Scott grew up in Pennsylvania and studied to be a teacher before she began performing poetry readings.

She became a singer after [continue reading]

Jill Scott`s very nice website !

Jill Scott - Golden