June 22, 2023 | By THANDISIZWE MGUDLWA |
CAPE TOWN, South Africa — It’s now official. MultiChoice Kenya, known as the home of great pay TV entertainment in Kenya has launched and premiered the highly anticipated “Shaka iLembe,” a groundbreaking cinematic masterpiece.
The producers have have declared that this programme will take audiences on an exhilarating journey into the heart of South African history, courage, and legacy.
Produced by Bomb Productions and funded by MultiChoice, “Shaka iLembe” is set to captivate global audiences and celebrate the rich cultural heritage of the Zulu Kingdom, they add.
Shaka iLembe, an epic story that captures the grand history of a formidable warrior, Shaka Zulu.
Also revealed is that this is a story of Kings, Queens, prophets, and warriors. It’s a story of love and romance, conflict, betrayal, sacrifice, and more!
Speaking during the premiere event, the South African High Commissioner, Amb. MJ Mahlangu said that we need to tell more African stories world over.
“I believe that this is a direction that we need to take for all of Africa. We need now more than ever to tell our stories and enrich the lives of our people through the delivery of creative, exciting, compelling, and well-delivered productions that leave no stone unturned and maintain the fiber of our people, culture, values systems, and norms,” he pronounced.
“Watching this first episode clearly shows that Shaka iLembe has been meticulously crafted by an imaginative team of filmmakers who sought to honor the essence of African history and culture with a production showcases the rich tapestry of African landscapes, authentic costumes, and an appealing soundtrack that blends traditional rhythms with contemporary compositions,” Amb. Mahlangu observed, adding that, “The result is a sensory experience that transports audiences to the heart of Africa, igniting a deep connection with its heritage and inspiring a new generation to embrace their roots.”
He stated, “On behalf of the South African High Commission, I wish to applaud MultiChoice through MultiChoice Kenya for creating this television masterpiece that tells the rich, yet authentic history of the Zulu Kingdom through television.”
Nzola Miranda, Managing Director, MultiChoice Kenya commented, “This production tells a raw and authentic African narrative, with a rather relatable historical storyline of occurrences in the chiefdoms and kingdoms across the Zulu kingdom. A story that reminds me of the great Maasai moran /warrior Senteu-born in the mid-1800s and remembered as a fearless leader of the Loita clan whose birthright was stolen from him. The connections between our historical stories, be they from South Africa, Angola or Kenya, remain united through our common lineage and strong narratives across Africa.”
Nzola further noted, “I am proud to say that MultiChoice remains Africa’s most loved storyteller and we are more than delighted to provide a platform for the film industry in Africa to showcase its creative license, captivating storylines, artistic delivery in design, sound, and impeccable quality picture through quality productions like this,” revealing that, “The sets on this production took 8 months to build, with 120 builders from KwaZulu Natal – and they were built to reflect the authenticity and realness of the environment at the time. This is what authentic stories entail.”
Moreover, as reported, six years of research, the highly anticipated series boasts the talents of some of South Africa’s biggest stars, including Coming 2 America lead actress Nomzamo Mbatha and Lemogang Tsipa, whose brother Ofentse is here with us.
Fittingly, SHAKA ILEMBE was filmed in 4K, with state-of-the-art visual effects, ensuring the best screen treatment for this sweeping dynastic saga.
“Locally in Kenya, MultiChoice has continued to invest in local content, leading the pack in the shows we license and commission for Kenyan audiences. Since 2015, we have 3 channels dedicated to local content, Maisha Magic East, Maisha Magic Plus, and Maisha Magic Movies,” Nzola revealed, concluding that, “this is even before we get into the Free to Air channels that allow our customers to view relevant local – Kenyan content. Our pledge to Kenyan filmmakers is that we have only just begun, and there’s more to be done in partnership with you!”
In addition, the producers have share, is that the 12-part series follows the origins story of the legendary African monarch and military strategist, King Shaka Zulu.
While the series is an entertainment title and a fictional interpretation of historical events, producers of Bomb Productions have taken care to ensure that Nguni culture is authentically portrayed and respected, they added.
SHAKA ILEMBE launched on Maisha Magic Plus on Sunday, June 18 at 22:00 hours and is also available to DStv Premium, DStv Compact Plus, and DStv Compact subscribers and on GOtv Supa. New episodes will be screened weekly on Sundays at 10.00 pm.