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Into the Okavango film finally reaches Maun

Water Setlabosha and John Hilton at the screening of Into The Okavango film in Maun PIC. THALEFANG CHARLES
Although the Okavango Delta has been a subject of many feature films and documentaries around the world, few have ever been shown to the people of Ngamiland.

The National Geographic Okavango Wilderness Project (NGOWP) last week decided to change that and showcased their new film, Into the Okavango in Maun before being premiered worldwide on NatGeo WILD television channel.

Into the Okavango is a powerful documentary of a team of world-renowned researchers, scientists, talented photographers, filmmakers, and rivermen exploring the entire river basin of the Okavango from Angola’s highlands to the flat plains of Makgadikgadi in Botswana.

The documentary follows an inspiring dream of Dr Steve Boyes - a South African researcher with extensive work in the Okavango Delta and the founding project director of NGOWP - who has made it his lifetime mission to find the causes of the threats to the Okavango Delta’s source waters and to determine how he can protect the river basin before it gets any worse.

Produced and directed by Neil Gelinas from National Geographic, the film combines art, adventure and the power of storytelling in an inspiring endeavour to save the Okavango Delta - 1,000th UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In the research expedition that made the film, Boyes brought the rivermen from

the heart of the Okavango Delta at an island settlement of Jao and Seronga to travel to Angola to show them the sources of their waters.  It was the Kgetho brothers, Gobonamang ‘GB’ Kgetho and Leilamang ‘Snaps’ Kgetho, Thopo ‘Tom’ Retio, all from Seronga together with Tomeletso ‘Water’ Setlabosha from Jao flats. Water, as everyone calls him, landed a leading role in the film alongside Boyes and a youthful female researcher from Luanda, Angola.

The film first premiered in April this year during the Tribeca Festival in New York. It then went around the world film festival circuit before it was world premiered on NatGeo WILD television channel last weekend.

Speaking before the screening in Maun, Water described in Setswana how the journey was difficult, but they eventually made it.

John Hilton, director at NGOWP said the project is set to assist the countries that share the Okavango River basin, from Angola through Namibia and Botswana, to protect the river system.

NGOWP country director Koketso Mookodi said they have plans to soon showcase the film around the communities of Ngamiland.


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