S’moko Fela to return with a bang

Mohalenyane Phakela

LESOTHO’S most popular radio drama, S’moko Fela, is set to return to the airwaves for its fourth season on 21 July with more dramatic and entertaining episodes, the show’s producers say.
S’moko Fela is an edu-tainment radio play which was aired on Moafrika FM at 1pm and Radio Lesotho at 7.30pm and accessible in all the 10 districts of the country. The programme is a Pusha Love campaign initiative, funded by the United States Agency for International Development with the objective to instil positive behavioural change in light of the HIV/Aids pandemic.

In the three years of the show’s existence, it has had as many seasons and cloaking 110 episodes. S’moko Fela explores such issues as HIV testing and counselling, voluntary male circumcision, among others, juxtaposed with humour and colloquial language.

“Season four will be jam-packed with interesting content, delving in such topics as voluntary male circumcision and encouraging women to visit clinics as soon as they suspect being pregnant,” the show’s head-scriptwriter, Moliehi Molupe Koeshe, said in an interview with the Weekender this week.
“We will continue to spice our plots with creative storylines, lots of humour and suspense.
“Every episode, like before, will have an epic moment and a climax to keep our listeners intrigued and in suspense for the next episode.

According to Koeshe, the storylines revolve around real situations ordinary people encounter to ensure they resonate with their target market; the 16-35 years age group demographic.
“Although this drama is about serious issues, we create our characters in such a way that they appeal to the target market, particularly the way they talk and behave,” she said.
“It has to feel real while at the same time being entertaining.”

Koeshe gave an example of the character Mosh, who is in his thirties, is financially stable, likes partying and young girls. Mosh’s character, Koeshe said, was designed to resonate with men fitting such a description and to help young girls to realise that there is a not-so glamorous side to pursuing such a lifestyle.
Also speaking to this newspaper, the show’s project coordinator, Malefane Malope, said the radio drama has achieved its mandate.
“We conducted an audience survey in all the 10 districts of Lesotho to check if the project has been serving its purpose,” Malope said.
“We conducted outreaches at taxi ranks, factories, in villages and even people of high social standing. S’moko Fela is now the talk of every village, town or office.”

According to Malope, people from all walks of life having been making frantic enquiries on when S’moko Fela will be back on air.
“We also have an SMS line where listeners send their views, suggestions and how certain episodes have impacted on their daily lives or relate to them” he said.
“The audience now wants to know when it will be adapted for television.”
While they are inclined towards radio production, Malope did not rule out television, saying “the sky is the limit”.
“The doors are open to anyone who wishes to fund the show’s migration to TV,” he added. “Our dream is to air the show on a daily basis as we only air three times in a week at the moment.”

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