Charmaine Bingwa (“The Good Fight”) and Nkeki Obi-Melekwe (“Tina -The Tina Turner Musical”) have been added to Showtime’s “King Shaka” cast as series regulars, the network announced on Thursday. Tony Kgoroge (“Invictus”), Sindi Dlatu (“The River”) and Bahle Hadebe (“Bone of My Bones”) will guest star in recurring roles.
According to their character descriptions, Bingwa will portray Isisa, a strong and very capable warrior whose loyalty is challenged after receiving a fateful encounter. Obi-Melekwe will play the Locust Queen, a mysterious leader of a migrant tribe of outcasts who gives herself an advantage by tapping into her deep knowledge of the spiritual world.
Kgoroge will guest star as Chief Senzangakhona, the proud leader of the Zulu people who denies Shaka’s birthright; Dlathu as Inyoni, a council leader and midwife; and Hadebe as young Shaka.
The group joins previously announced cast members Charles Babalola as King Shaka; Thapelo Mokoenaas as Gendeyana, a Qwabe leader who grows close to Shaka and Nandi; and Warren Masemola (“Queen Sono”) as Magazwa, who provides safe haven to Shaka and Nandi but at a cost, Aïssa Maïga (“The Fear Index”) as Nandi, Shaka’s devoted mother who will sacrifice everything to fulfill her son’s destiny; and Thando DIomo (“The Woman King”) as Pampatha, a herder who finds her fate forever entwined with Shaka’s.
The epic drama tells the story of King Shaka’s personal journey from a stigmatized childhood to becoming a legendary king. Born the outcast son of a Zulu king, his unlikely rise to power and ultimate accomplishment of uniting multiple tribes across vast stretches of Africa in the early 19th century pushed his kingship to become legend.
Production is scheduled to begin this month in King Shaka’s birthplace, KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), South Africa. The series will be fully shot in South Africa and is scheduled to debut on Showtime in 2023.
“King Shaka” is created and executive produced by Olu Odebunmi and Tolu Awosika, and executive produced by 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 Hill District Media. Gugulethu Zuma-Ncube and Pepsi Pokane also produce.