The no.1 Ladies Detective Agency
When I first got the call for this show, I wept as it had been a dream to work with Anthony Minghella and absolutely loved the books and all the characters in them. When I first read the script, I laughed out loud, it had me written all over it. The experience was phenomenal and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity. The late Anthony Minghella was possibly the most graceful director to work with, allowing each of his department heads to run with their vision and he bestowed such trust in each of us, that the result was magnificent . There was also a particular creative synergy that happened on this show with myself and production designer, Johnny Breedt. Unconsciously without discussing certain design elements, we each were respectively on exactly the same page. This is rare and has only ever happened twice on a show for me.
In growing up in Africa, my eyes had absorbed so much colour and texture and the way in which African people style themselves was always such an inspiration to me. No matter what their class, education or financial standing, they always held a dignity in my eyes and I got to translate the essence of them in this show. Creatively I had a lot of fun and it shows. I had a fan write to me and tell me that the colour so inspired her that she wanted to climb into the television whilst watching the show.
We shot both the pilot and the series, entirely in Botswana which is a country of great beauty and humble, loving people. I worked with some phenomenal Botswana talent in my team, some of which had never worked on a film before. I was allowed to only take five crew members with me and the rest we had to train up. It was a daunting task but one well worth it as most of them embraced it and have crossed the border into South Africa and now working full time in film.
Working with Director of Photography, Seamus McGarvey was another treat as he captured my characters so beautifully. I couldn’t be more grateful that not a detail was missed. Guilio Biccari, our DOP on the series followed suit and captured the magic.
The cast were each amazing in their own right, from Jill Scott to Anika Noni Rose, Lucien Msamati, Colin Salmon, Idris Elba, Nikki Amuka-Bird, David Oyelowa, Joseph Patterson, Desmond Dube, John Kani to name a few.
I was nominated for an Emmy for this show and am so very proud of it.