Four (4) warriors in the Shaka iLembe series.
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Shaka iLembe is easily one of South Africa’s world class and record breaking films in all-time history. The first episode of the Multichoice and Bomb Productions series premiered on 18 June 2023 and broke Dstv’s all-time viewership records debuting at 3.6 million viewers in its first week.

In this coverage of PROFILED, we briefly touch on Shaka’s history, the story behind Shaka iLembe along with profiles of its season one cast or characters. Below is the video version of this coverage if you prefer watching it, for the readers let’s dive in!

Shaka’s History

Born in the year 1787 to King Senzangakhona and Queen Nandi, was a fearless warrior who built one of the most formidable military forces at the time, King Shaka Zulu.

Shaka Zulu established the Zulu Empire and revolutionized warfare in Southern Africa in the early 19th Century which he ruled from about 1817 until he was assassinated by his half-brothers in 1828.

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Shaka iLembe Cast & Characters

Shaka iLembe’s cast features a lot of South African popular seasoned actors and actresses. Below we profile some of them with more to be profiled throughout season one.

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Wiseman Mncube (Zwide)

Wiseman Mncube is a 33 years old award-winning actor born in Durban, South Africa. He is best known for his roles as Sibonelo on Uzalo, Mqhele on The Wife, and Thobani on Ehostela.

The character played by Wiseman, Zwide was the son of the feared Queen Ntombazi and King Langa. He was a dangerous warrior who was feared by many for being ruthless. He shared his mother’s ambitions of building an empire and was fiercely committed to protecting and providing for his people.

WATCH: Wiseman Mncube’s role as Zwide Explained

Hope Mbhele (Baleka)

Hope Mbhele is a 26 years old actor and radio presenter born in Mtwalume, on the south coast of KwaZulu-Natal province in South Africa. She is best known for her roles as Mabusi on Umkhokha, and Amahle on Uzalo. On radio, she is known for hosting shows on Gagasi FM and Metro FM.

The character played by Hope, Baleka was a passionate healer for the Mthethwa King Jobe and later King Makhasana of the Mabhudu. Filled with determination and fierce independence, she dedicated her life to healing and directing her nation to the ancestors, while bringing comfort to those in need.

Thembinkosi Mthembu (Dingiswayo)

Born on July 17, 1994, Thembinkosi Brian Mthembu is a seasoned actor from Durban, South Africa. He is best known for his roles as Bonga on Adulting, and Mabutho on The River.

Thembinkosi plays the role of King Dingiswayo who was the son of King Jobe of the Mthethwa clan. He was an inspirational leader, gifted strategist, and skilled warrior known for his military prowess, wise counsel, and ability for diplomacy. He became a key mentor to Shaka and helped shape him into a great warrior and lauded leader.

WATCH: Thembinkosi Mthembu’s role as Dingiswayo Explained

Nomzamo Mbatha (Queen Nandi)

Born on July 13, 1990, Nomzamo Mbatha is an international and award-winning actress, executive producer, TV personality, businesswoman, and human rights activist from KwaMashu in South Africa. She is well known for her roles as Thandeka on Isibaya, Eddie Murphy’s sequel Coming 2 America, Mbali on Lockdown, Kwezi on Umlilo, and many many other productions. On Shaka iLembe she is not just a lead actress but an executive producer as well. 

Daughter of King Mbengi of the Langeni and Queen Mfunda, Nandi played by Nomzamo was a woman ahead of her time. Beautiful and bold, she defied societal norms and chose to chart her path. She was Shaka’s mother, who despite enduring many hardships nurtured and guided him to become a legendary leader, instilling in him the strength, love, and bravery that defined his reign. To this day, Queen Nandi remains a revered African icon.

WATCH: Nomzamo Mbatha’s role as Nandi Explained

READ: Durban July 2023 Weekend Recap & Fashion Gallery

Lemogang Tsipa (Shaka)

Born on May 9, 1991, Lemogang Tsipa is an internationally seasoned actor who grew up in Empangeni, a city located in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. He is well known for his roles as Impi on Amandla, Bambatha on Isithembiso, Duma on Beyond the River, and Xhosa on Blood Psalms. He received a lot of criticism since he was announced for his lead role Shaka on Shaka iLembe because of being Tswana in a Zulu series.

WATCH: Lemogang Tsipa’s role as Shaka Explained

Full List of Shaka iLembe Cast & Characters

As the story unfolds, more characters are being unveiled. Please visit any of the Shaka iLembe links below to see the full list of Shaka iLembe season 1 characters and news.

WATCH: Shaka iLembe Season 1 Trailer

Subscribe to our YouTube channel to watch more parts of the Shaka iLembe Story on PROFILED. Click on the link below or here.

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