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Top SA actress bags major ‘Hollywood’ role in Showtime’s King Shaka epic

With six Netflix acting credits to her name, making her the first ever South African actress to achieve such, add to that her next big international move as a cast member of the highly touted Showtime's upcoming drama title 'King Shaka', actress Nambitha Ben-Mazwi has sure become a force to be reckoned with on global acting stages.

Nambitha Ben-Mazwi’s upcoming role will see her play Queen Bhibhi kaSompisi Ntuli, the head wife to Shaka’s father, Chief Senzangakhona. The story is inspired by actual events, with screen writing led by acclaimed writers Olu Odebunmi and Tolu Awosika, Propagate, Fuqua Films and CBS Studios. 

Commenting on her latest role, the multi award-winning actress, who recently charmed guests as the host of Bombay Sapphire’s Wasomi Experience soiree, said she’s excited to be joining a stellar production crew and cast, particularly acting alongside world renowned British actor, ‘The Outlaws‘ star Charles Babalola.

“Charles Babalola who leads as Shaka, is an impeccable storyteller whom I got the opportunity to play across at our test shoot in June in LA. That truly was a rewarding part of the auditioning process when CBS flew me out for the final call backs, performing for the executive team of ‘King Shaka‘,” Ben-Mazwi said.

The Port Elizabeth-born actress has enjoyed a remarkable year, having made history as the first South African to hold 6 Netflix film credits – that’s in addition to her long, stellar list  of TV acting credits such as SBC1 drama series ‘Diamond City‘, which arrived the world’s leading streamer on December 18, 2020, as well as Laurence Fishburne’s led BET series ‘Madiba‘ and’s telenovela ‘Broken Vows‘ and weekday soapie ‘Scandal‘.

She appeared in Netflix’s 2020 comedy series ‘How to Ruin Christmas: The Wedding‘. She also starred in the television show turned Netflix Original ‘Black Mirror‘, the much-hyped chicken flick ‘Happiness Ever After‘ (the sequel to the 2016 ‘Happiness Is a Four-Letter Word‘)

Not only that, she recently scooped two awards; Feathers Hot Chick of the Year Award; and a SA Style Award 2023 for Most Stylish Performing Artist in Film/TV.

This week, she has also been nominated for the VN Global Media and Entertainment Awards, in the best actress of the year category – to be held in December in Cape Town.

About: Showtime’s drama King Shaka

Centred around one man’s personal journey from stigmatised childhood to warrior king, ‘King Shaka‘ is executive produced by Odebunmi and Awosika, Antoine Fuqua, Bridget Carpenter, Propagate’s Ben Silverman, Howard T. Owens and Rodney Ferrell.

Seith Mann, who is directing the pilot, and Spencer Medof are also executive producers. Scott Greenberg is a producer, and Michael Callas is producing for Fuqua Films.

Production kicked off in September 2022 in the South African KwaZulu-Natal province, the birth place of King Shaka, a prominent late king of the Zulu kingdom and is slated for release in a 2023 on Showtime.

Other regular cast member announced earlier include Aïssa Maïga (‘The Fear Index’) as Nandi, Shaka’s devoted mother who will sacrifice everything to fulfill her son’s destiny; and Thando Dlomo (The Woman King) as Pampatha, a herder who finds her fate forever entwined with Shaka’s.

 Thapelo Mokoena (‘Bulletproof‘) will guest star as Gendeyana, a leader of the Qwabe people who grows close to both Shaka and his mother Queen Nandi, as well as Warren Masemola (‘Queen Sono‘) as Magazwa, who provides safe haven to the Zulu kingdom but at a cost.

Temoso Mokoena
Temoso Mokoena
Temoso Mokoena is a tech and sneaker enthusiast who likes to stay neutral in all things.
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