One aspect of the set took nine months to build.
The life story of King Shaka has enthralled people the world over with South Africa no exception. His is a history not told from a colonial lens and it is what audiences are hungry for.
Ahead of Mzansi Magic’s Shaka Ilembe airing in 2023, we’ve gathered some scintillating essentials about the set from a media tour that occurred in August. And it will leave you in awe. Trust us.
There are real cows on set. And from the beginning of the shooting till August, there were eight calves were born. These are truly Shaka’s calves in that sense.
According to the crew, the set in Johannesburg took an entire nine months to build. That is the duration of pregnancy! A lot was also filmed in Shaka’s home province, today’s KwaZulu-Natal.
Speaking of authenticity, tremendous attention is also paid to the vegetation and animals on set. These need to be matched not only to the historical period but the location at that time too. To this effect, CGI is also being used.
The wardrobe and make-up departments are on point. Why you may wonder? They covered up all modern body additions such as tattoos and ear piercings because well, those things were not around during Shaka’s era. This lends immense authenticity to what audiences will see on screen.
“The Zulus were the biggest nation or clan that took over,” says Shaka Ilembe producer Bongumusa Zungu.
Due to the nature of record keeping back then, there is a variety of sources used to tell the story with a sprinkle of creative license.
Consultations not only occurred with the royal family, the former and current King but also with the family decedents gathering their oral history.
There is also a team of historians on board with a dedicated cultural adviser Nhlanhla Mtaka, who is also the co-executive producer.