Nomzamo Mbatha is set for historical drama ‘Shaka Ilembe’ coming this June

Written by on 25 April, 2023

Coming 2 America’s Nomzamo Mbatha  is set to star in drama “Shaka Ilembe” about the iconic African king. The series is set in 1700s and will also star Lemogang Tsipa and newcomer Ntando Zondi, who will both play Shaka at different ages, Thembinkosi Mthembu as King Dingiswayo and Senzo Radebe as King Senzangakhona.

Mbatha, who will play Queen Nandi, Shaka’s mother, will also executive produce. “I am honoured to bring the giant that is Queen Nandi to life,” she said.

“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 told TimesLive, when she’s in costume she is Nandi and performs the assertive character with pride, but when she is not acting, she is Nomzamo, making sure her cast and crew members have what they need to make the show.

“It hasn’t been an easy transition,” she says.

“Especially because my fellow actors know me as an actor, so I always just tread as a little wool flower, but learning more than talking … For me it’s been a very nerve wracking, stretching, and learning experience [with] lots of pressure to be able to be authentic, truthful and of excellence.” 

The magnitude of the set is what we would call a Hollywood blockbuster scale and Nomzamo says she’s excited to be part of the production.

“It’s always been something that’s close to my heart. I just didn’t realize how big it is, so we’re literally going into uncharted territory. The show is huge scale, it’s something that has never been done before by its own people.”

For her, it’s about telling the story correctly and as authentic as possible.

It took nearly six years for the bomb production team to research to make sure they pay attention to even the smallest detail when putting the show together, from it being narrated in isiZulu to the costume designs.

Witness the incredible journey of one of Africa’s greatest leaders in this epic tale of bravery and adventure: #ShakaiLembeMzansi Tune in on Sunday 18 June at 8pm.



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