MASERU: Local drama, known by its previous name “Our Times” has changed its name to “Ke nako” and now plays on South African channel Moja Love on DSTV channel 157.
The founder of the drama Motheea Mpharoane says the breakthrough came about after the ministry of communications failed to renew the drama’s contract following its expiry in late 2017.
Mpharoane emphasises that he pleaded with the ministry but his loud cries fell on deaf ears.
“There is no denying that Our Times, now Ke nako, is a production loved by Basotho but, most importantly, it is a platform that offered Basotho, especially the youth, job opportunities but that was not motivation enough for the ministry to renew its contract,” Mpharoane says.
The Butha-Buthe-born Mpharoane holds a Master’s Degree in Economics from the National University of Lesotho.
He emphasises that even though he is an economist by profession, his passion lies mostly with the TV and film industry so the ministry’s failure to renew his contract broke his heart.
“I must say that this deeply hurt me because I had hoped that the drama would air longer on our national television. People should be aware that Moja Love is a DSTV channel that occurs on a bouquet option of DSTV family and compact and in a month a person would have to subscribe the amount of M250 a month and, frankly speaking, not all Basotho are able to afford that amount,” Mpharoane says.
He said while in search of greener pastures, he had to go seek help where his drama would be appreciated and that is when he came across Moja Love where he explains that Ke Nako (Our Times) was accepted without hesitation.
He also recalls sending them a link via Facebook where they could watch the drama via YouTube and within 10 minutes he received a response informing him that they had just watched the drama and they need it as soon as yesterday.
Mpharoane says Basotho should from now on expect massive development and growth as far as the acting talent and ability of Ke Nako’s characters are concerned.
The good thing about going international, he added, is that their craft would be judged based purely on their talent and not on their status or political affiliation.
He also maintains that the exposure is going to benefit them career wise as the possibility of being spotted elsewhere is high.
One other good thing about this milestone, Mpharoane says, is that it came at a time when South Africa seems to be having a thirst for Sesotho language dramas spoken in Basotho accent.
According to Mpharoane, the aim is to deliver a proper Sesotho-speaking drama hence the idea to change its name from an English to a Sesotho one.
Mpharoane also reveals that the drama will feature two popular South African actors who were more than pleased to learn about Ke Nako, especially because they also attest to the fact that the television and film industry in South Africa is predominately cast in Zulu and most Basotho are not satisfied with that.
Mpharoane says those two actors indicated that the last time they watched a proper Sesotho drama was during the likes of Mopheme and Tholoana tsa Sethepu.
“I sincerely hope that one day Ke nako will feature on Lesotho television again because it is our desire to give back to Basotho who love and support the drama,” Mpharoane says.