AUDITIONS for a television drama series based on the life of King Moshoeshoe I are set to begin tomorrow.
Produced by local firm, Landlocked Entertainment, auditions for the 26-episode drama series will be held over two days in Maseru at the RCC Hall. The programme will move to Hlotse’s Molapo High School on 7 May 2016 and lastly to Matsepe High School in the southern region on the next day.
Landlocked Entertainment Chief Executive Officer Motheea Mpharoane said they opted to pursue the project because of the “rich story” of the founder of the Basotho nation had largely remained untold by television and film producers.
“There is a rich story and part of the history of Basotho which remains untapped by film and television producers,” Mpharoane said in an interview with the Weekender this week.
“The series will remind all Basotho of this great leader and founder of our nation. It will also teach our young people of his rich history and legacy in the form of visuals as most pay more attention to television than history books.
“The series will have a positive impact on Basotho and the world in general. While the story is about Moshoeshoe’s life, it will also dwell on the history, culture and traditions of Basotho.”
Mpharoane said that due to financial and logistical challenges, the series will only focus on King Moshoeshoe I’s life from the time he arrived at Thaba Bosiu.
“The series will only focus on King Moshoeshoe I’s life from the time when he lived at Thaba Bosiu, from his teenage years,” he said. “Telling the whole story from the earlier period at Menkhoaneng would be technically and financially challenging.”
Mpharoane said the story would be told from the perspective of a 25-year-old man called Moshoeshoe after the founding monarch.
“He (Moshoeshoe) is heir to the current chieftainship at Thaba Bosiu and feels he is now old enough to take over from his uncle who has acted as chief after his parents passed on when he was still young,” he said.
Mpharoane explained that the character had become obsessed with King Moshoeshoe I after learning about his life from the village elders and now wanted everybody to follow his example.
“He (Moshoeshoe) now wants everyone in the village to emulate King Moshoeshoe I’s way of life and adopt the lifestyle of Basotho during that time. However, that leads to constant conflict with his uncle who fears Moshoeshoe will take his people backwards with his extreme views about the true Basotho way of life.”
Mpharoane will head the production team as executive producer, casting and director of photography. The rest of the line-up includes Moses Lephoi (production manager), Tseliso Tlali (production designer), Rethabile Tale (costume designer) and Nthabiseng Mosala (screenplay). Taks Beats will provide the music.
Mpharoane said shooting first season will begin on 17 May and last three months. He said they chose Thaba Bosiu Cultural Village as the location in order to take advantage of the excellent infrastructure government had put up.
“Shooting of the second season will start immediately upon completion of the first as it is our intention is to keep the series going for a long time,” he said.
“This will be done at Thaba Bosiu Cultural Village. The idea is to use this excellent infrastructure before it gets destroyed as it has largely remained a white elephant.”
The company produced Lesotho’s first ever soap opera, Our Times which is currently showing on etv Africa. It is yet to be screened on national television.
Mpharoane said they had not approached local television over the new project “because we do not have a television station that can commission such programmes like it is done across the border”.