A recent research conducted by Mmegi has shown that urbanites have had enough of Botswana Television (Btv), which they accuse of lacking innovation and creativity.
Interviews with 50 urban dwellers of varying ages and backgrounds revealed that many people are choosing to desert the national broadcaster over a number of reasons. The survey, which was conducted in both Setswana and English, targeted both males and females of all age groups although most of the respondents were youthful.
"Not meaning to be rude, programming at our TV station really leaves a lot to be desired. The station spends too much time airing repeats rather than current issues.
A lot of money is spent on programmes that do not entertain at all or benefit us anything," quipped Kabo Kebaimetse of Gaborone on Facebook.
A popular middle-aged actress, who did not want to be named for fear of victimisation, challenged the television station to increase local content.
"We need more local programmes. I would rather watch a not-so-well produced local programme than an equally bad international programme," she said. The actress, who has appeared in a number of local productions also challenged the station to commission local producers for more programmes.
Like Kebaimeste, Bernard Bogatsu from Gaborone expressed disappointment with the poor showing of the national television station.
"We are sick and tired of Btv. I think privatisation is the only possible solution," he posted his comment on Facebook.
Well-known journalist Moses Maruping was equally uncompromising saying that the entire television station needs an overhaul. "The majority of people at Btv are talented but the system has diluted their brains. Their work is controlled by remote control from the powers that be," said the outspoken Maruping.
Kelebemang Lenkokame of Francistown however told Mmegi that she did not have any problem with Btv programmes calling them 'okay'. The 44 year-old Lenkokame said that she did not have access to any other station so she would not know what the competition offered.
A 25 year-old female of Gaborone and
Some individuals from urban areas, who took part in the survey revealed that there was nothing that they could say about Btv as they have decided to part ways with the station in favour of more engaging television stations, including pay television channels.
Some of the rural areas dwellers who were mostly interviewed telephonically were more tolerant of the station despite the fact that they felt more could be done to improve the status quo.
Keneilwe Mogale of Bobonong said that while she does not watch much television she likes watching Dikgang (News) and Morwalela on Btv.
"I normally watch the news but I feel that Btv should also cover rural areas as well because all we see is news items from places such as Gaborone and Francistown," she said. The 22 year-old Mogale also called for more entertainment programmes.
Lesego Mpate of Gabane attacked the television station for favouring certain political parties when it came to coverage. "Btv seems to prefer to repeat news items of a certain political party and this most certainly raises eyebrows," she said adding that the station should try to profile some personalities in some entertainment programmes. She also called for programmes such as Melodi ya Kgalaletso and Mokaragana to be broadcast live.On the other hand, Boitshepo Ramathudi said that she is not happy with the news as it lacks content.
Thirty-five year-old Kwena Kgakge who stays in Tlokweng called for live coverage of some programmes saying that some programmes do not make sense when their broadcasting is delayed as they became irrelevant.