MultiChoice preps African historical drama
Pay TV group MultiChoice is in production on an epic period drama series in partnership with South Africa’s Bomb Productions.
Set to be released next year, Shaka Ilembe is being filmed in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal and is set in the 1700s. It tells the story of the making of the eponymous African king, from his early childhood through to adulthood.
The series is executive produced by Nomzamo Mbatha, who also plays the role of Queen Nandi, starring alongside Lemogang Tsipa, Ntando Zondi, Thembinkosi Mthembu and Wiseman Mncube.
“I am honoured to bring the giant that is Queen Nandi to life,” said Mbatha. “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!”
Yolisa Phahle, CEO of general entertainment and connected video at MultiChoice, added: “Being able to bring this important story to the screen with such stellar talent speaks to the heart of MultiChoice’s ongoing commitment and investment in our local entertainment industry. We are committed to telling great African stories, and this is a proudly African series told through the lens of Africans for the very first time.
“We want people to learn about our history and culture, but we also want to keep viewers glued in anticipation. This drama seeks to uncover nuggets of history but creates narrative in the gaps by putting known characters alongside fictional characters in order to keep the story moving.”
Angus Gibson, creative director at Bomb Productions, said: “It is a cast with deep talent. It is magical witnessing these performers bring life to characters we only know from the history books. When the cast arrive on set, fully dressed in wardrobe and hair from the period, I am blown away.”