Home Big Interview HERE COMES MABIJO

HERE COMES MABIJO

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The character, the cartoon and the celeb!

BIJOS

For 21 years Botswana’s very own cartoon character Mabijo has been entertaining masses or his followers who cut across the wide spectrum of society. And like wine he has grown better with age as he can now stand up and be counted amongst the country’s top entertainers.
But who is Mabijo, who is his creator and what kind of a person is he, is he really problematic or he’s just a misunderstood man? These are some of the questions that many people had out there for both Mabijo and his creator, Tebogo Motswetla and this week the two took time to field the questions. Knowing the type of a man that Mabijo is, always wanting to be visible and listened to more than others we decided to give him the platform first so he can be heard before his creator.

How are you related to Tebogo Motswetla?
Oh! That one, o a impateletsa, he goes around telling people that we are related just because I am a celeb. He was born at our cattle post, he used to look after my father’s goats. I understand he is now in Gabs.

Q. You seem to be so much against ma14, where is the hatred coming from?
Aish! Ma14 have impoverished me, look at my shoes, dintse ditshetlha. Today they want cell phone top range, tomorrow nzamela, airtime, doorframe etc, the next day they are gone. But I must admit, they are stunningly gorgeous, I really love ma14.

Q. Do you have a girlfriend, if not, why and if yes, why is it that you never talk about her?
Yes and No, fa ke iponela mmadirabanyana ha simolola go phatsima mathaka ba nchaya two feet. I hope to keep one after buying nabara, ga ona kgaitsadio hoo melaiti?

What makes you tick?
Click! Like a mouse? Aish! Moving with times, romantish voice, the way I walk, especially when I see the crowd with a lot of banuza, I wish you can see me o tla a ja dijo.

Q. When are you going to the State House to have a chat with President Khama?
Very soon I will be there. For your information, the President ke di-home, from the same ward ko Sejapi. I want to find out about a formula of keeping Afro hair, I want to throw away my hat but I don’t want chesele. I want to propose to him to start a new ministry of Humour and Laughology under my able leadership.

Q. What is your take on the current political situation in the country?
Oh! It’s really getting more exciting, go na le metsametsano. Actually I also want to form my own party. My vision is to recruit all the bachelors and ask our neighbouring President to address the party on Growth using the biblical concept of be fruitful and multiply in a diminutive population.  Marriage will be the prerequisite for our party post. Whoever wishes to fund this party can call me, I will be in charge of the party funds.

Q. What is your attitude towards alcohol, sex and condoms?
Booz! I don’t like it, except ha ke bata go itsenya mo plakeng to face the girl I really want, or when I’m going through a frustrating situation, unfortunately it never solves any of my problems, instead it brings more sorrows. Sex and condoms, I don’t want anyone under age to be asking me this question, I get even scared when asked by someone from the same sexual orientation, so I want to see your Omang first before I answer this question, thank you.

In the Shadow of…
The creator of the notorious Bijos

HUMOROUS: TEBOGO MOTSWETLA

Q. When was Mabijo created and why?
I started Mabijo in 1989, the year that I became a born-again Christian but I never planned it that way, it just happened simultaneously. I started the cartoon because it is something that I had always wanted to do. Art and graphic design has always been my passion as I started drawing when I was 6 years old, so it was question of trying to realize my dream and I must say I am happy to have done that.

Q. And the name Mabijo, where did it come from and is his character of someone that you know?
Mabijo is my uncle’s nickname but his character is very different from the cartoon’ character. Naming the character after my uncle was to honour (him) as he is one person that I really respect and because he had great talent in boxing but never pursued it because he got sick and therefore could not continue fighting.

Q. How do you think Batswana perceive cartoons and can you make a living by just being a cartoonist?
Judging from the way people like Mabijo, I think I can say Batswana do appreciate cartoons. The problem though is that we don’t have many platforms as cartoonists to explore our talent, if we had then we one could survive by just being a cartoonist.

Q. It appears as though Mabijo never runs out of things to say much to the amusement of people despite the fact that he has been around for a long time, where do ideas and inspiration come from?
It’s all about passion, I am so passionate about Mabijo and I always thrive to make sure he is never boring. I also get the inspiration from people around me and the things that I come across and daily experience. I must also mention that seeing people reading and laughing because of Mabijo gives me the inspiration to continue dishing out more.

Q. Any challenges faced and have you ever been accused of crossing paths because of Mabijo?
The greatest challenge is to come up with interesting humorous cartoons but judging from the feedback that I get it seems I am doing well. So far I haven’t crossed anybody’s path and I hope it stay that way. The intention is not to provoke people but to make them laugh.

Q. How much does Mabijo take over your life and do you feel he is overshadowing you?
I am a full time employee of the University of Botswana and so there is no way Mabijo can completely take over me. And yes he overshadows me because people know Mabijo more than the person behind him but I am not all worried about that.

Q. Have you made any fortunes from Mabijo?
Not yet but maybe I will one day when Mabijo has really grown as a cartoon character because this is what I am working on. I want to see him reach a certain level and when he does reach that level I am sure I will then start reaping the monetary rewards.

Q. What level are we talking about here?
When he appeals to everyone, I want him to be a household name in Botswana.

Q. How are sales for Mabijo booklet volume one and when can we expect volume two?
The booklet is doing well and plans are underway to take it to other parts of the country because it is not available countrywide. Volume two is expected beginning of next year.

Q. And any plans of taking Mabijo to the international level or animating him for TV?
Yes, plans are there to take Mabijo to the international market and to have him on television. I have actually started working on that part but I cannot say exactly when people will be watching Mabijo on TV or have him on DVD.

Fact file
Full names: Tebogo Motswetla
Date of birth: May 15, 1969
Place of birth: Serowe
Academic achievement: Masters in Two Dimensional and Digital Design
Marital status: Married with one daughter
Holiday destination: Israel
Car(s) driving: Toyota Corolla and Hilux SR
Music playing in his car: Gospel
Pastime: Exercising and spending time at the cattle post
Greatest achievement: Realising his dream of being a cartoonist
Mentor: Herge (creator of Tintin cartoons)
Favourite cartoon animation: Pink Panther
Book currently reading: Talent is never enough by John Maxwell

55 COMMENTS

  1. EISH KANTE Mabijo ene ke motho yoo ntseng jang i mean o nna fela mo rifing le those clothes of his, must a registariwa as a destitute gore a kgone go nna a changer dilwana cuz its not healthy go apara same clothes for 21 years….anyway Mr Motswetla u really make a difference in our lives i mean u make us laugh when all hope seems lost nd dats commendable

  2. o dude di homo!!!!!kip on kipin broad smil in our lips!!!lots o4 congrats ma bra lefa o na le madi a fetlang a mme..o talented sumtims God opens door for one person y? le nna ke batla go ruta ko ub ke bo ke dira carton,ke bo ke ga isa amantle montsho ko mabaleng ao!!

  3. keep it up Mr Motswetla.i cant wait to lay my bare hands on the mabijo booklet volume one.i have ever since my primary school days loved mabijo,they make me laugh.i even covered my books with those cartoons that i got on DailyNews.what is the WEBSITE of mabijo where we can read it online.somebody help, i need it so much

  4. Batswana a mme the message behind bijos ea tsena mo di tlhaloganyong tsa rona or re bolawa ke ditshego fela…iz the real mabijo still alive i have nakonyana ke sa vaele sjapi nd pliz mr motswetla ae tsene mo screening le wena o je sengwe home boy.

  5. vatsai Mabijo o ne a reka kae dilwana tse di sa chenchiweng or di roketswe mo go ene.tel mabijo gore ke tla mo tshwarela sugar mummy.Big up Homeboy

  6. wow, thats intrestin,ke rata mabijo waitse..o tla kgona in opening a new ministry dear.,and God is with you always.,He promised in His word that we not alone..Praise the Lord

  7. nna o changer attair tlhe mona bijos, le meno ao atlaabe a ruse ke lorole. gone legale ole tllaonara ka ditlhako. are u aware dat whn a persn puts on over sized shoes, we call the mabijo…? o itiretse leina mf2, ke batla gogo bona live

  8. Lol:!!!!!!!!can´t stop laughing at people commenting on mabijo´s clothing and his big smile! Mabijo is the man!!!! I actually tried to google him a few months ago ´cause I just wanted to get something to get my spirit up. Mabijo online will be a blessing to those of us lonely abroad

  9. its nice dat w now no the man bhind this gr8 jokes.m 23 bt my luv 4 mabijo is still constant so i think the cartoon appeals 2 evry age group.it is funny bt also informative coz it touches sme of the stuffs w go thru.big up Mr.

  10. big up mr motswetla,i like mabijo so much and this cartoon really inspires me. I think i am a cartonist n’ one day i will rock the world.I believe if mabijo can add something that is God related,it will be great.

  11. Gola mabijo gola,ga kena mosadi nna bathon,mme le gale ga ke moswagadi fa ke rouletse ruri jaana,i just wnt 2b unik.,matsheri ke ba senya stlhogo ka this urban gear.ditlhako.2.5,nxaza.800,haaa,shirt n kuane guess how much…..around….8.8haahaaha.congrts motswetla.

  12. I just love mabijo. He reminds me of spongebob. I think he should create a nice program ya dicartoon. Not those silly speaking bananas tsa Btv.

  13. bonang guys nna kana go tloga go tlwe ke buela ko thoko nna tota mabijo ga ke morate kana ke raya wa malatsi a. tebogo M ke kopa o nne o ya ko shaking o ye go tsaya distori tsotlhe tse dimonate o ka dira madi kana o nkhontacte ke go di batele.

  14. nako nngwe ngwana wa ga mabijo a busiwa ko sekolong a sa duela P50 wa scul fees,but bijos o ne a nale P5 fela ka fa tlase ga mosamo,dats the discusion btwn him & the kid..

    KID; papa gatwe ke tle go tsaya P50 wa scul fee.

    BIJOS;wht?P40? Nna ga ke na P30,go & ask your mum to look for P20 under the pillow may she will find P10 & give you P5…KIP IT UP RRE-MOTSWETLA.

  15. nako nngwe ngwana wa ga mabijo a busiwa ko sekolong a sa duela P50 wa scul fees,but bijos o ne a nale P5 fela ka fa tlase ga mosamo,dats the discusion btwn him & the kid..

    KID; papa gatwe ke tle go tsaya P50 wa scul fee.

    BIJOS;wht?P40? Nna ga ke na P30,go & ask your mum to look for P20 under the pillow may be she will find P10 & give you P5…KIP IT UP RRE-MOTSWETLA.

  16. mayb she wil find P10 & giv u P5…HAA HAA…WENA SON O METLAE WAITSE,di tswa kae such JOKZ? MARE KE TSONE MA BRO. GIV U 5 Teb.g & ue Bijoz. VIVA BIJOS VIVA…TSHWARELELA MA MAN.

  17. i remember when the story ya “route 75″ ba rethenyathenyang a re dueleng” after that story we cudnt wait to see wat bijos was up….
    but ova the years mabijo ona le go bua dilo tse di serius and it dont sound like him at all….o ntena gore ha nna serius….
    i ve got hic comic book thut…its great i love it

  18. hey ke bata go deita mabijo waitse. mme ke ipotsa gore a ga e kake ya re le ya go phirima ke bo ke tholwa ko ICU ke idibaditswe ke ditshego…thats wonderful kip goin homza….

  19. Big up Mr Motswetla, u came a long way and i never thought you would still be holding on to Bijos by now. it shows a lot of dedication and passion u hv for this cartoon n il always b thankful that i passed through those hands of yours when at Mannathoko CJSS Serowe.

  20. we used cut out and file mabijo’s cartoons then ha bodutu bo kelemile re ya le tsone re a di bala…n we’ll laugh our lungs out as if we are reading them for the first time…
    big-up ma-man, just be original about it…

  21. the latest e mmolailen la bofelo…mabijo’s basking in the son with others then boss ya bone walks in and asks ‘bijo’s ke eng le arametse letsatsi during work hrs!?’

    BIJO’S: cos re babereki ba ba amogelang ka letsatsi…

  22. wena motho wa dilotsammantota! o are tena everi article wa commenta, o rata dilo the voice e gase ya ga rrago.

  23. i really love bijos,ebile ka ona le bomoslem nyana ka thoro ye a e rwalang.ha ele smile sone o mpolaya gone foo….

  24. Oh! It’s really getting more exciting, go na le metsametsano. Actually I also want to form my own party. My vision is to recruit all the bachelors and ask our neighbouring President to address the party on Growth using the biblical concept of be fruitful and multiply in a diminutive population. Marriage will be the prerequisite for our party post. Whoever wishes to fund this party can call me, I will be in charge of the party funds” Thats Bijos words, ako go nyalwe Mabiojo a ise a tlhame party, baa iketse baba iseng ba nyale. Mabijo ke skhokho man!

  25. What a talent…Tebogo,u always leav me in cracks..keep doin the good work and God bless you more.You are amongst the funniest ever created..

  26. HI MMY MAN JUST KEEP ON WITH THAT CATOON AS IT MAKE US LAUGH , MORE REFRESHMENT AND AND IT HAS THE MESSAGE,PEOPLE LETS LAUGH ,BUT TAKE THE MESSAGE SERIOUS