Coming 2 America star Nomzamo Mbatha has been cast as lead actress and will executive produce a local drama series about the infamous Zulu king, Sgidi kaSenzangakhona titled Shaka Ilembe.
The series, Shaka Ilembe is currently being filmed in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal. It is set to air in 2023.
NOMZAMO MBATHA AT THE HELM OF SHAKA ILEMBE
BOMB Productions which created Isibaya, The Road, Isithembiso and House of Zwide is producing the series for MultiChoice.
Set in the 1700s, Shaka Ilembe tells the story of the making of the iconic African king, Sgidi kaSenzangakhona who was commonly known as Shaka with iterations from his early childhood through to adulthood. The two key actors playing Shaka are Lemogang Tsipa (adult king) and newcomer Ntando Zondi (young king).
The star-studded cast is headlined by Nomzamo Mbatha, who plays Queen Nandi, the revered mother of Shaka, with Thembinkosi Mthembu starring as King Dingiswayo and Wiseman Mncube in the role of King Zwide.
Speaking about her role, Mbatha said she is honoured to bring the giant that is Queen Nandi to life.
“History will remember those who informed its people of where we come from, to better understand who we are. I am fortunate to be part of a project that is much bigger than ourselves and to tell this story in our own language. Impi iyeza!,” Mbatha said.
WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT THE DRAMA SERIES
The production has been six years in the making, consulting historians, academics and family descendants, including the late King Goodwill Zwelithini and Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi.
Former Zulu Royal Household spokesperson and cultural advisor, Nhlanhla Mtaka also weighed in on Shaka Ilembe.
“This is our appointment with history; we want to capture the authenticity and deepen the understanding of this era,” he said.
Creative Director at Bomb Productions, Angus Gibson said the series is cast with deep talent.
“It is magical witnessing these performers bring life to characters we only know from the history books. When the cast arrives on set, fully dressed in wardrobe and hair from the period, I am blown away,” Gibson said.