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. ...
See all stories on this topic

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. ...
See all stories on this topic

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 ...
See all stories on this topic

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. ...
See all stories on this topic

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 ...
See all stories on this topic

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, ...
See all stories on this topic

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