MultiChoice Malawi premieres first episode of drama series SHAKA iLEMBE to Malawians

* This is not only a South African story but also Malawian as we share Ngoni culture

* The Ngonis form a big part of our country and the story will give Malawians a sense of reflection

By Fazilla Tembo

The first episode of SHAKA iLEMBE drama series on DStv and GOtv — that will tell the story of the legendary Zulu King, Shaka and the events that shaped his remarkable life — has been premiered by MultiChoice Malawi in Lilongwe on Wednesday night.


Present at the premiere at Bingu International Convention Centre (BICC) was Deputy Minister of Local Government, Arts & Culture, Owen Chomanika, who said SHAKA iLEMBE tells a great story, very remarkable and explains of leadership quality, courage and birth nationalism.

“This is not only a South African story but also Malawian as we share Ngoni culture,” he said. The Ngonis form a big part of our country.”

He said the story will give Malawians a sense of reflection and a big lesson to the generation as it is modernized and he encouraged the citizenry to adhere to their cultural norms that speak and build a strong society.

Deputy Minister Owen Chomanika

Also present was one of the country’s custodians of culture, Ngoni Chief, Inkosi ya Makhosi Mbelwa, who commended Multichoice Malawi for bringing the film to the people reminding them the importance of preservation of culture.

“This reminds us of our rich Ngoni culture, its movement and how we have guarded it up to now,” he said, while assuring to keep preserving their cultural so that it is passed on to the next generation.

On her part, MultiChoice Malawi Corporate Affairs Manager, Zena Makunje said the film illustrates the power and leadership quality that traditional leaders should follow.

“We are proud to take this film to the people as they will be able to appreciate the Ngoni culture and its existence,” she said.

Zena Makunje

The 12 part episode of SHAKA iLEMBE was produced in South Africa with its director, Bingumusa.

The series is an entertainment package and a fictional interpretation of historical events, producers Bomb Productions have taken care to ensure that Nguni culture is authentically portrayed and respected.

Fittingly, SHAKA iLEMBE was filmed in 4K, with state-of-the-art visual effects, ensuring the best screen treatment for the sweeping dynastic saga that encompasses the Zulu, Elangeni, Hlubi, Mthethwa and Ndwandwe clans.

1824 European artist’s impression of Shaka with a long throwing assegai and heavy shield. No drawings from life are known

Wikipedia records that Shaka kaSenzangakhona (about 1787–September 22, 1828) was the king of the Zulu Kingdom from 1816 to 1828 — one of the most influential monarchs of the Zulu — who ordered wide-reaching reforms that re-organized the military into a formidable force.

He was born near present-day Melmoth in KwaZulu-Natal Province as son of the Zulu King Senzangakhona kaJama and spurned as an illegitimate son, Shaka spent his childhood in his mother’s settlements, where he was initiated into a fighting unit called ibutho lempi), serving as a warrior under Inkosi Dingiswayo.

King Shaka further refined the ibutho military system and, with the Mthethwa Paramouncy’s support over the next several years, forged alliances with his smaller neighbours to counter rival clan, Ndwandwe raids from the north.


The initial Zulu maneuvers were primarily defensive, as King Shaka preferred to apply pressure diplomatically, with an occasional strategic assassination. His reforms of local society built on existing structures.

Although he preferred social and propagandistic political methods, he also engaged in a number of battles.

Thus the production of SHAKA iLEMBE, the fictional interpretation of historical events but taken care to ensure that Nguni culture is authentically portrayed and respected.

SHAKA iLEMBE features a stellar cast, that brings together the talents of Nomzamo Mbatha — who played Mirembe in the 2021 film Coming to America 2) — as well as Lemogang Tsipa (who stars in the title role); Thembinkosi Mthembu (who played Mabutho in The River); Wiseman Mncube (from The Wife); Mondli Makhoba (from The Wife); Sthandiwe Kgoroge and introduces Ntando Zondi.

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Starring alongside them will be Abdul Khoza (from The Wife); living legends Don Mlangeni and Vusi Kunene among many others, making SHAKA iLEMBE a powerful ensemble drama. 

Its creative team is helmed by Oscar nominated director Angus Gibson, executive producers Nomzamo Mbatha, Nhlanhla Mtaka and Desiree Markgraaff, working with Professor Hlonipha Mokoena (cultural & historical advisor).

It is one of the biggest productions fully funded by MultiChoice Group as part of their expansive local content slate.

For more information on SHAKA iLEMBE, viewers are encouraged to visit or follow the hashtag #ShakaiLembeMzansi on social media.