Dumela Mma! I have a new obsession.  The #1 Ladies’ Detective Agency.  I love this show! In fact, I’ve been obsessed with it for the last two weeks in which I’ve watched it’s 7 episodes multiple times.

The No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency

  I wouldn’t have even known about it had a woman not stopped me on the street sometime last summer (?) and told me that I reminded her of that “singer who plays the detective on HBO”.  I knew it was Jill Scott she was referring to as people often see fit to stop me and tell me that I remind them of her, but I was not familiar with the show.  “She plays a detective in Africa. She talks with their accent and everything.  Yeah, you look like her. Just like her!” Now because I stalk Barnes and Nobles on the regular and “molest” quite a few books when I’m there (and by molest I mean pick up, look at cover art, read jacket blurbs, flip through pages, etc.) I begin to recall a series of books written by a man named Somebody Mc-something or another on one of my B&N excursions. Could these be the same books?  I picked one of those books up months ago; the “african-ness” of the cover art originally caught my attention and I recall turning it over and reading something about a woman detective in Botswana. Interesting I thought. I looked at the picture of the author on the back cover, a white man from Scotland (or somewhere), Hmm, even more interesting.  I made a note to check these books out more thoroughly the next time I came book-stalking as I already had at least 2 books  in my hand and was on my way to the register.  I had several more “next times” where I passed by the books making a mental note to look up information on these books or buy one and read it but never did.  And then, I remembered seeing another printing of this book with a “Now an HBO television series” banner splashed across the front next to a drawing of a large black woman sporting an afro and an umbrella. I sucked my teeth and thought “Uhh! I HATE when they do that! Now I”m supposed to buy it JUST because it’s a television series?!” I do hate when they do that.  And while we’re on the subject, I especially hate the big Oprah seal-the big yellow “O” with “Oprah’s book club selection” inside of it. I will go out of my way to find an earlier printing of the book just to avoid the “O”.  (I still need an O-less copy of Their Eyes Were Watching God) Hey, I was an avid reader waaayyy before Oprah made reading “popular” again. Why should she dictate my reading habits? She doesn’t. So why should I allow the scrutinizing eyes of the bookstore workers and passersby and THE MAN think so.  But I digress…

Fast Forward. I netflixed the three series which comes in three discs and fell in love with it immediately! I must read these books! I must buy this series on dvd.  Jill Scott plays Precious Ramotswe; a clever Botswanan woman of “traditional build” who with the cattle that was left to her when her father passed opened the only detective agency in Gabarone, Botswana. *Mma Ramotswe  is joined by Mma Makutsi, played by Anika Noni Rose (Dreamgirls and Disney’s The Princess and the Frog) in their adventures. (Mma is pronounced like “ma” and addresses a woman. Kind of like Mrs.). This is a show the whole family can watch; and as much as we see negative things in the media about Africa (genocide, civil wars, poverty) this represents the positive everyday life in Botswana. Jill and Anika’s accents are impressive.  Guest stars include Idris Elba and CCH Pounder as well as many important Botswanan figures (according to the special features section) as the series was filmed entirely in Botswana. Go rent it, Go buy it, Go watch it!  Season 2 should be out soon and there are aboyut 11 books in the series if you can’t wait that long…like me. ( I braved the icy cold rain early this morning just so I could  get the 2nd book).