GABORONE, BOTSWANA — MultiChoice Africa recently announced its MultiChoice Talent Factory (MTF) Academy Class of 2019 and yet again Botswana has made the final cut. Quite captivating about this year’s selection is the addition of Botswana’s high-riding and new kid on the block, Masego Mohwasa (26).
Mohwasa recently graduated with BA in Motion Picture Medium majoring in Writing and Directing from AFDA.
Born in Ramotswa and raised in Selibe-Phikwe, the young lass became a drifter from a tender age as her parents moved around the country due to work commitments. However, Mohwasa took the travels like a duck to the water adding that they encouraged and brought upon her life diverse cultural interactions.
From as little as 10 years, she might have predicted her fate and what she wants to be when she grows up. Whilst many kids her age were watching television for the fun of it, she was already comparing productions and technical ride of every channel or productions.
“Around 9 or 10 years, that’s probably the age every other child watched a lot of television but for me it was a huge form of escapism. I used to get lost in books and television quite often. Around 13 years of age I was already critiquing productions in my head and thinking about how I wanted to be a part of it all. I just didn’t know how or if it was at all possible,” she recalled this week.
However fast-forward to today, she stands amongst the firebrands of the budding industry. Better yet, she knew to perfect her craft she needed proper education to meet her passion thus she enrolled with AFDA and she has been riding on a cloud of success since.
“I did my research about which film school to enrol with and I knew AFDA was my right bet. I understood exactly what it meant from the get go. In fact I was already admitted into South Africa’s AFDA Johannesburg branch and when I heard about AFDA Botswana and I just diverted my admission her because it would reduce living expenses since I was self being sponsored.”
Now after graduation, Mohwasa would not stop until she no longer needs to introduce herself. Her name now appears amongst the international pay television DStv’s MTF. The 2019 class will see her representing Botswana with her former colleague, Lorato Orapeleng.
“I wanted to apply for the MTF last year but I didn’t because I was still in my third year of school. This year I was also hesitant because the brief had said I should be a graduate. On the day of the deadline I just decided to submit my transcript and references because I was a graduate in waiting and I got in! The interview was a shock and it was quite intense but I’m happy I did really well. I tried to be as honest and as real as possible. My last semester was pretty hectic emotionally, mentally and physically. Having to meet the demands of an entire crew and set while my mother was bedridden (at the time) was extremely harrowing. But I did my best and it paid off. I can only ever hope I did everyone proud trying not to lose my mind.”
Equipped with the necessary tools, Mohwasa is adamant that she can be the next game changer, already mixing with the veterans in her recent attendance of SEA Africa Botswana’s two-day conference is further a sign of her prowess to lead and inspire others in her berth.
“At the moment I just want every single great opportunity to grow. So I want to take the 5 or so years to learn as much as possible by working with as many masters of this craft as possible and trial and error on my own. I am currently working with a crew called Isago Ntle Films. We are all AFDA graduates and we have three short films under our belt. Our most popular will be screening next month at the Silicon Valley African Film Festival. Even though we are still learning, opportunities like this one really make us trust we are on the right track. We would like to make more,” said Mohwasa.
Mohwasa further thinks if she is given the chance to lead Botswana’s film and television industry, her greatest achievement will be to help Batswana understand the full value chain of the industry and how we can all really benefit from it. She thinks the arts are currently looked at as a liability, a cost, and not really an investment.
“We need to build and develop small communities and hubs that can demonstrate this value. That is what my career will revolve around,” she concluded.