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The wait is over for the larger than life story of aMazulu King, Shaka iLembe

The highly anticipated Mzansi Magic epic historical drama series 'Shaka iLembe' was launched amid much fanfare at an exclusive star-studded event at Montecasino, Johannesburg on Wednesday - ahead of its Sunday (July 18) premiere.

Some of South Africa’s biggest names in acting were out on full force at Montecasino, Johannesburg on Wednesday to welcome the arrival of the highly-anticipated Mzansi Magic epic historical drama series ‘Shaka iLembe‘ just days before its official premiere this Sunday.

Top among them were the show’s cast led by superstar actress and executive producer Nomzamo Mbatha, and young star Ntando Zondi. They were joined by Mzansi’s beloved Dawn Thandeka King, Hope Mbhele and Sthandiwe Kgoroge along with Lemogang Tsipa, Mondli Makhoba, Senzo Radebe, Thembinkosi Mthembu, Wiseman Mncube and Mduduzi Mabaso.

Befitting the scale of the production, the largest series ever created by MultiChoice, the premiere event was without go down memory lane as one of the entertainment highlights of the year; that’s if the the captivating décor that transformed the Montecasino cinema complex into a showcase of Nguni culture and stylish line-up of celebrity guests walking the Black Carpet were anything to go by.

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

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, Gibson said the production of Shaka iLembe started several years back (6 years ago) with the production team “reading almost everything possible” about the Zulu king. Extensive consultation was done with historians, academics and family descendants, including the late King Goodwill Zwelithini and Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi to ensure authenticity of the story.

“What you’ll see here in this first episode is the beginning of the relationship between Shaka’s parents,” Gibson said, adding. “We’ve gone on a long journey through their relationship – from conception, Shaka’s childhood, his adolescence, becoming a warrior under the Mthetwa and finally, we leave it just before he becomes king because there are future series.”

“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” – MultiChoice General Entertainment CEO Nomsa Philiso

Meanwhile, 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, 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 Khozag, who performed songs from the series soundtrack, together with vocal powerhouse Ann Masina, and renowned local visual artist Trevor Stuurman whose bespoke photographic installation provided an immersive experience for guests.

Coming to Mzansi Magic (DStv 161) at 8pm on June 18, ‘Shaka iLembe‘ tells the story of the making of a great African king. The two key actors playing Shaka are the incredibly talented Lemogang Tsipa (adult king) and newcomer Ntando Zondi (young Shaka).

Nomzamo Mbatha plays Queen Nandi, the revered mother of Shaka, with Thembinkosi Mthembu starring as King Dingiswayo and Wiseman Mncube in the role of King Zwide.

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