Botswana town as scene for Mandela film

Film producers are due this weekend in Lobatse town, 70 kilometres from the Botswana capital Gaborone for the shooting of a documentary film on the early life of former South African President Nelson Mandela.

The film will focus on Mandela's preparation as a freedom fighter in which Lobatse town featured prominently, Botswana's National Museum Director Gaobakwe Phorano told reporters Thursday.

Phorano said by authentically placing Botswana's role within the story, the country's proud heritage and culture take their rightful place next to other countries.

We hope that our determination to film this aspect of authentically in Lobatse (as opposed to recreating a set in South Africa at a lesser cost) will offer many opportunities, he said.

The film will be shot on location in Botswana, Ethiopia, Tanzania, South Africa, United Kingdom and Algeria to retrace Mandela's life from his days as a freedom fighter to his post-prison life after 1990.

Therefore this weekend's filming in Lobatse is a deserved honour of this town's huge historical contribution to the liberation and democratic process in South Africa he said.

In Botswana, Phorano said, the film has the blessings of the Ministry of Environmental, Wildlife and Tourism, the Botswana Tourism Organisation, Brand Botswana and the Lobatse Town Council.

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