According to Deadline,King Shaka, a new series about the Zulu Empire starring Charles Babalola is set to air on Showtime. Antoine Fuqua will executive produce the drama series.
The series, which follows Shaka Zulu, the creator of the Zulu Empire, and his ascent to power in the early 19th century, will be based on actual events. Between 1816 and 1828, Shaka Zulu ruled as king of the Zulu Nation. King Shaka will be portrayed by Babalola as he unites tribes all throughout the country while enduring ferocious battles, putting his alliances to the test, and attempting to stay alive.
Showtime will air the series’ premiere in 2023 once it is filmed in South Africa. Thapelo Mokoena, Warren Masemola, Assa Maga, and Thando Dlomo, who played The Woman King’s mother, will all appear in the series.
The drama will be written by Tolu Awosika and Olu Odebunmi, who will also executive produce the series. Awosika and Odebunmi released a statement about King Shaka noting that they would be reintroducing the story of the Zulu Nation from the African perspective.
“This outstanding international cast is, quite literally, a dream team. The powerful story of King Shaka and the Zulu Nation speaks to the very heart of everything we identify with as Africans,” read the statement. “It’s a blessing and honor to share the greatness of the Zulu people’s history with a full and nuanced approach that serves as a microcosm for African history across the continent.”
“WE COULDN’T BE MORE EXCITED TO REINTRODUCE THIS NARRATIVE FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF ITS OWN PEOPLE AND SHARE IT WITH THE WORLD.”
Production on the series is set to begin next month in Shaka Zulu’s hometown of KwaZulu-Natal. The production will also invest in the country and province by hiring at least 300 local residents as craftspeople, performers and crew members in partnership with Film Afrika, the SA Film Academy and the Academy of Creative Excellence.