Telling empowering stories, South Africans want to hear

Sunday, 16 July 2023 21:31

Meet Ntando Zondi, who plays the young Shaka Zulu on Shaka iLembe.

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

Ntando Zondi plays the young Shaka Zulu on Shaka iLembe. There isn't much known about the young actor, that's about to change, now! 

Zondi plays the son of King Senzangakhona kaJama (Senzo Radebe) of the Zulu nation and Queen Nandi kaMbengi (Nomzamo Mbatha) of eLangeni. In the series, he was born out of wedlock and later as an outcast, he was subjected to humiliation and adversities.

When casting directors called him back for a second audition, he almost did not answer as it was an unknown number. Little did he know it was a call that would change his life.

"He tells us why it was important for him to take on this role saying."

“Being part of this production is an honour and very special to me and my family. I cannot believe that I am part of a series that is so epic and telling an important story.  I am so grateful for the opportunity and taking on the big role of young Shaka Zulu who grows to become a formidable King in the future. For me this is a life changing experience."

  • Age: 15   
  • Birthplace: KwaMashu in KwaZulu-Natal.
  • Casting:   Out of hundreds of teens Ntando Zondi was chosen to portray the role of the young Prince Shaka. He has no formal training in acting but has loved it for years always dreaming of becoming an actor. The assignment for the Bomb Production casting team was to cast a young teen who had talent and a similar looks to Lemogang Tsipa who plays the adult Shaka.
  • Occupation:  Student (Grade 8)
  • Mentors: Nomzamo Mbatha who plays his mother Nandi in the series: she calls him her boy. She was always by his side when filming Shaka iLembe. Bongumusa Zungu Casting Director Shaka iLembe and Manager: Ntando calls him big brother from another mother.  
  • Future: Ntando takes his studies seriously, 2023 is his first year in high school.  Ntando was awarded certificates in drama (2), Arts and Culture (1) and Academics(1) in his final year of primary school. His wish is to become an Entrepreneur and international actor.
  • Parting shot: Tune in this Sunday, 16 July at 8pm for episode 5 only on Mzansi Magic channel 161. I am very excited and hope you will enjoy this episode."    

The star-studded cast is headlined by 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.

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.