King Shaka: Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Mustafa Shakir Among 4 Cast In Showtime Series

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Oz) and Mustafa Shakir (Luke Cage) are set as leads opposite Charles Babalola in Showtime’s King Shaka drama series. Additionally, Terry Pheto (Tsotsi) and Lerato Mvelase (Justice Served) will recur in the series executive produced by Antoine Fuqua.

Rooted in actual events, King Shaka tells the story of the Zulu Empire founder Shaka (Babalola) and his unlikely rise to power, uniting multiple tribes across vast stretches of Africa in the early 19th century to transform his power into legend, on par with history’s most seminal figures. The outcast son of a Zulu Chief, Shaka is a visionary who is prophesized to become a king like none before him. In ferocious battles that test the body and soul, in alliances that test the bonds of love and friendship, a complex sociological system plays out that renders the human cost front and center, for the victors as well as the vanquished, all in an effort to carve out a semblance of identity, fulfillment and ultimately, survival.

Akinnuoye-Agbaje will portray Zwide, the sadistic Chief of Ndwandwe who, although a loving family man, employs ruthless fighting methods and terrifying brutal strength. Pheto will play Juma, his devotedly pious yet conspiring wife. Shakir is Dingiswayo, an ousted prince who becomes Shaka’s mentor and de facto father figure. Mvelase will portray Mkabayi, elder sister to Shaka’s father and the most influential voice in the royal court.

In addition to Barbaloa, previously announced cast includes Aïssa Maïga (The Fear Index), Thando DIomo (The Woman King), Thapelo Mokoena (Bulletproof) and Warren Masemola (Queen Sono).

King Shaka hails from writers Olu Odebunmi and Tolu Awosika, Propagate, Fuqua Films and CBS Studios. Production kicks off next month in the historic KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) South Africa province, the birthplace of King Shaka, and will be fully shot in South Africa for a 2023 debut on Showtime.

King Shaka is created and executive produced by Odebunmi and Awosika, and executive produced by Fuqua, Bridget Carpenter, Propagate’s Ben Silverman, Howard T. Owens and Rodney Ferrell. Seith Mann, who is directing the pilot, and Spencer Medof are also executive producers. Scott Greenberg is a producer, and Michael Callas is producing for Fuqua Films. Gugulethu Zuma-Ncube and Pepsi Pokane also produce.

Akinnuoye-Agbaje is best known for his NAACP Image Award-nominated work in Oz, as well as Lost and The Mummy Returns. He starred most recently in Suicide Squad and Marlowe and will be seen next in the upcoming film Our Man From Jersey.

Shakir starred most recently in Cowboy Bebop opposite John Cho and also starred in Luke Cage as Bushmaster. He will next be seen in Antoine Fuqua’s Emancipation, Die Like Lovers and Ghosted.

Pheto’s credits include the Oscar-winning film Tsotsi, Long Walk to Freedom, Madiba, Naledi, A United Kingdom and The Bold and The Beautiful.

Mvelase is known for her Emmy-nominated role in the South African drama series Home Affairs. She is currently hosting the reality series Seng’Khathele and starring in The Estate.

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