First episode of 'Shaka iLembe' a hit, pulls over 3.6-million viewers

24 June 2023 - 16:50
By Unathi Nkanjeni
Nomzamo Mbatha as iNdlovukazi Nandi.
Image: Supplied Nomzamo Mbatha as iNdlovukazi Nandi.

The first episode of Shaka iLembe drew more than 3.6-million DStv viewers in South Africa. 

The first episode hit screens last Sunday. The historical series, set in the late 1700s and 1800s, explores the making of iconic African king Shaka Zulu, played by Lemogang Tsipa and Nomzamo Mbatha as iNdlovukazi Nandi.

The show also reached No 1 on the DStv app in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia and other African countries.

MultiChoice CEO for general entertainment Nomsa Philiso expressed her gratitude to audiences for watching and interacting with the show.

“In Shaka iLembe, our vision was to tell an epic African story, on a grand scale and with the depth and finesse that can only come from a substantial investment. That audiences have bought into this storytelling universe is deeply affirming because it aligns to our understanding of the market appetite for this type of content,” said Nomsa.

“This is a story that builds frame by frame, scene by scene, episode by episode. Stars like Thembinkosi Mthembu, Hope Mbhele, Mondli Makhoba and Lemogang are still to be seen. So, in each episode going forward, fans can expect another layer of this remarkable story to be revealed.

“We want to keep viewers absolutely entertained and do justice to the incredible support Shaka iLembe is enjoying from our audiences across South and Southern Africa to a wide array of media across the country.”

Speaking to TshisaLIVE previously, Lemogang shared how excited he was to be part of the production. 

“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,” he said.

“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.” 

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