Telling empowering stories, South Africans want to hear

Wednesday, 14 June 2023 19:53

Historical series Shaka iLembe launched at an exclusive event in Johannesburg.

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

Mzansi Magic has launched highly anticipated historical series Shaka iLembe at an exclusive event on Tuesday evening at Montecasino, Fourways.

Shaka iLembe tells the origins of the story of the iconic Zulu king, Shaka, and the events that shaped his remarkable life. 

The 12-part show is an entertainment title and a fictional interpretation of historical events, the producers ensured Nguni culture is respected and portrayed authentically.

Befitting the scale of the production, the largest series ever created by MultiChoice, the premiere event was a dazzling night. From the décor that transformed the MonteCasino cinema complex into a showcase of Nguni culture to the stylish line-up of celebrity guests walking the Black Carpet, this was one of the entertainment highlights of the year.

On the black carpet, Dawn Thandeka King (who plays Princess Mkabayi kaJama - Shaka's sister) said the filming experience was "historical".

"This is history in the making," she said. "What stood out the most, for me, is that I got to play a character that I've always admired."

"It was very special, it was very overwhelming, but it was a beautiful experience."

Speaking about what viewers can look forward to, King said they can look forward to "nothing but greatness" when they tune in from Sunday as "every performer on this project gave their all".

Other cast members include Nomzamo Mbatha as Queen Nandi - Shaka's mother, Lemogang Tsipa, Thembinkosi Mthembu, Wiseman Mncube, Khabonina Qubeka, Hope Mbhele, Mondli Makhoba, Abdul Khoza, Sthandiwe Kgoroge, Don Mlangeni, Vusi Kunene, Mduduzi Mabaso and Ayanda Borotho. 

Key to the festivities was a special pre-screening of episode 1 of Shaka Ilembe, which was introduced by Creative Director Angus Gibson (Bomb Productions) and MultiChoice General Entertainment CEO Nomsa Philiso.  Speaking at the event, Philiso was passionate about the creation and intention of the series. 

"For decades MultiChoice has showcased the strength and skill of local filmmakers and Shaka Ilembe represents the epitome of this investment. We are proud of this title and hope that our viewers will see that we worked to respect Nguni culture and traditions while delivering an entertaining series on an epic scale that truly befits the era of Kings and Queens it brings to life."

Spotted at the event were Azania Mosaka, Sjava, Luthando 'BU' Mthembu, Nonkanyiso Conco, LaSizwe Dambuza, Baby Cele, Natasha Thahane, Ntando Duma, Robot Boi, Slindile Ndlovu, Thembi Seete, Sello Maake kaNcube and his wife Pearl, Letta Mbulu, Ringo Madlingozi, Natasha Thahane, Khanyi Mbau, Khaya Dladla, Blxckie, Zolisa Xaluva, Winnie Ntshaba, Ihhashi Elimhlophe, Linah Ngcobo, Ntombi Mzolo, Penny Lebyane and many more.  Other stars in attendance included iconic musician Mbuso Khoza, who performed songs from the series soundtrack, together with vocal powerhouse Ann Masina, and renowned South African visual artist Trevor Stuurman whose bespoke photographic installation provided an immersive experience for guests.