'Playing a great King is definitely going to change peoples perspective of me' — Lemogang Tsipa on playing Shaka Zulu
Ahead of the premier of the highly anticipated premiere of the Shaka iLembe, Lemogang Tsipa says he looks forward to seeing how his role on the show changes impacts his career.
The historical series, set in the late 1700s and 1800s, tells the story of the making of iconic African king Shaka Zulu, played by Lemogang (adult king) and newcomer actor Ntando Zondi (boy king).
“It's a dream come true in a sense that we've always wanted to do these large scale productions that have maximum production value, given a budget with the ability to dream. This is definitely going to shift the way people look at me.
“Playing a great King is definitely going to change peoples perspective of me. I think it will also help open a lot of opportunities because Shaka is one of the unique historical figures that is globally famous,” he tells TshisaLIVE.
Despite the backlash on social media questioning how he doesn't have a Zulu name, doesn't look like Henry Cele who portrayed the character of Shaka Zulu in the first infamous 1968 film, Lemogang's mother Sally, who was at the shows premier in support of her son, says viewers will see him channel the man he raised in Empangeni, KwaZulu-Natal.
“I am Tswana, but Lemogang was raised in Empangeni. I raised my children with the culture of the Zulu's.”
Throughout his career, Lemogang has captivated viewers when staring in Beyond The River, and hit shows including Isithembiso, The Republic S2 as well as Blood Psalms, and his mother says with this character, they will appreciate his art form.
“I'm feeling very proud and grateful that he has succeeded so far. He is making me so proud as a mother, especially when I hear says about how he is behaving among the other people.
“Because I didn't know much about the entertainment industry I never said he would become this big but in 2018 when he was on The River I started to realze his talent more, especially because he was acting so perfectly, but now with Shaka iLembe, he really amazed me, I'm very excited for him.”
Shaka iLembe launches on Mzansi Magic at 8pm on Sunday June 18.