Africa News blog

African business, politics and lifestyle

At last: a positive look at Africa on U.S. TV


American television audiences were treated on Sunday night for the first time to the show “The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency”, which is based on the best-selling series of novels set in Botswana by Alexander McCall Smith.

The series, being aired in the United States by HBO, has already been broadcast by the BBC in Britain. Like the novels, it follows the light-hearted adventures of Precious Ramotswe as she seeks to solve mysteries with her keen intuition and big heart.

My colleague Rebekah Kebede did an advance story on the U.S. premier which you can read here.

I have read most of the novels, and the TV premier seems to stick to the spirit of the books. African problems, such as AIDS or the use of body parts from kidnapped children to make traditional medicine, or “muti,” are not swept under the carpet. But many of the tales woven by McCall Smith are uplifting or deal with profound ethical dilemmas that his intrepid lady detective always resolves.