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Botswana’s most precious lady detective ‘sustains’ Christian values

His African tales of Precious Ramotswe, the traditionally-built first lady of crime-stoppers and private detectives in Botswana, have been best sellers all around the globe. Sales of his No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency have exceeded 15 million and it has been published in 42 languages. Now the novel that made the Zimbabwe-born Scottish academic turned writer, Alexander McCall Smith, one of the world’s most successful authors, will reach a new audiences on Easter Sunday when the story is shown to millions of BBC television viewers.

The television version of his best-known book will feature not only the American R&B singer Jill Scott as Bataswana sleuth Precious but also the bishop of Botswana, the Rev. Musonda Trevor Selwyn Mwamba. The bishop will play a village priest enrolled by Precious to halt the spread of crime in diamond-rich Botswana, which neighbours South Africa.

“Precious is first and foremost a Christian. It is her belief in God and Christ that sustains her, and which, for the most part, sustains all Africans,” Bishop Mwamba, who said he was delighted to be chosen to play a part in the two-hour drama, told Ecumenical News International.

Botswana’s attorney general, Athaliah Molokomme, agrees with the bishop’s assessment of the work of the 59-year-old Scottish author who once attended a Christian Brothers’ College in Bulawayo.

Speaking at the end of a seminar on Botswana and Diamonds on 12 March in London, Molokomme told ENI, “Sandy [Alexander McCall Smith] was my law tutor during my first degree at Edinburgh University in the late 1970s. He paints women in Africa just as they are, strong, resilient and proud.

“Precious is no caricature,” she said. “In Botswana, women have always been strong and that’s because we have democracy. It wasn’t brought here by Christian missionaries,” Molokomme noted. “Before they came we had a system we called delegated authority, women had their own space and authority, especially in the home.”

Full story at Ecumenical News International.

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