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The Boy with an African Heart 

An American woman asks for Precious's help to trace her son who vanished a decade before.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Desmond Dube ...
Brenda Ngxoli ...
Jude Akuwudike ...
Andrea Oliver ...
Mary Twala ...
Selelelabongaka Tshiamo ...
Leuba Tsaboswa ...
Ben Ngwato ...
Sporty Guy 1
Billy Chiepe ...
Sporty Guy 2
Lebogang Motubudi ...


Precious Ramotswe is hired by an American woman, Andrea Curtin, who is looking for her son Michael who disappeared 10 years earlier. He had come to Botswana to live on a farm commune that specialized in growing edible crops in a desert climate. From all reports, Michael had simply vanished into thin air one night and was never seen again. When his disappearance was first reported, Andrea and her husband had come to Botswana to search for him and had even hired a tracker--but to no avail. Andrea's husband died recently and she now needs to bring closure to Michael's disappearance. With Grace's quick thinking, they are able to track one of the commune residents, now a professor at a local university. As the investigation continues, however, Precious thinks they may in fact be looking for two missing people. Grace thinks the time has come for her to be promoted to assistant detective. There has also been a rash of local robberies with a strange selection of items being stolen. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

29 March 2009 (UK)  »

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Did You Know?


The subplot regarding Michael Curtain--the American man who had disappeared many years before--and his mother coming to find out what happened to him appeared in the second book in the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, 'Tears of the Giraffe'. In the book, Curtain and his mother are described as white, but the showrunners cast CCH Pounder in the role of the mother. Pounder was nominated for an Emmy for this role. See more »


Featured in The 61st Primetime Emmy Awards (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

31 August 2010 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

Mme. Ramotswe is consulted about the break-ins of several stores in the area. One thing is common, all the places that were robbed had unprotected small windows through which small children could be sneaked in the stores. A lot of common sense goes a long way for Precious to get to the culprits that have been doing the robberies.

The high point of this episode comes in the way of the unexpected visit of an American woman, Andrea Curtin, who has come to Botswana in search of her son, missing now for ten years. Mrs. Curtin is a woman with a determination and she has the money to spend in tracking down the disappearance of Michael Curtin, an eager young man that came to the country trying to do good and in the process, finding his African roots.

The case of the missing young man takes Mme. Ramotswe to a far away place where Michael helped establish a sort of commune trying to grow things using different unorthodox methods. When Michael went missing, Mrs. Curtin and her husband came to Botswana to look for him, but they could not find him. A trip to the old place where Michael was last seen shows an empty and dilapidated area. Only a carved piece of wood, bearing Michael Curtin's name give Precious some hope.

Grace Makutsi proves she has learned quite a lot working for Mme. Ramotswe. In fact, it is this valuable secretary who tracks down one of the men that were involved with Michael in the commune. Precious takes Mrs. Curtin to the place, now deserted where an older woman reveals something that will lead to finding the woman that was romantically involved with Michael. She still lives, and the surprise is that she has a young son, fathered by Michael.

An appreciative Precious Ramotswe announces to Grace that effective immediately, she will be promoted to assistant detective. Grace breaks down because she has not been completely truthful to her employer. She confesses tearfully about her sick brother Richard, something she has kept to herself. An understanding Precious assures Grace how good she must feel unburdening herself of the weight she has carried for so long.

Another good episode in the series. Directed by Charles Sturridge and written by Nicholas Wright, they have adapted the material that Alexander McCall Smith novels about the lady detective Precious Ramotswe working in Botswana. The subject matter appeared in "The Tears of the Giraffe" and Mrs. Curtin was a white woman. Here, the creators made the incident perhaps more credible by changing Mrs. Curtin's race to black. One can see how an idealistic Michael Curtin could have been attracted to get to know his African roots.

Good acting all around by the ensemble African crew. CCH Pounder, the Guyanese actress makes a dignified Andrea Curtin. Jill Scott and Anika Noni Rose are the main reasons for watching this series.

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