MORE CAST ANNOUNCED FOR SHOWTIME DRAMA SERIES KING SHAKA





MORE CAST ANNOUNCED FOR SHOWTIME DRAMA SERIES KING SHAKA
CHARMAINE BINGWA, NKEKI OBI-MELEKWE, TONY KGOROGE, SINDI DLATHU AND BAHLE HADEBE

JOIN SHOWTIME® DRAMA SERIES KING SHAKA

LOS ANGELES – September 29, 2022 –SHOWTIME announced today that Charmaine Bingwa (The Good Fight) and Nkeki Obi-Melekwe (Tina -The Tina Turner Musical) will star, and Tony Kgoroge (Invictus), Sindi Dlatu (The River) and Bahle Hadebe (Bone of My Bones) will guest star in the highly anticipated new series KING SHAKA, an epic drama centered around one man’s personal journey from stigmatized childhood to legendary king. The CBS Studios production will shoot in the historic KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) South Africa province, the birthplace of King Shaka, and will be fully shot in South Africa. The series is produced with Propagate and Hill District Media and will debut on SHOWTIME in 2023.

Bingwa stars as Isisa, a fierce and formidable warrior whose loyalty is thrown into question by a fateful encounter and Obi-Melekwe will star as the Locust Queen, the mysterious leader of a nomadic tribe of outcasts who uses her deep knowledge of the spiritual world to her advantage. Kgoroge is guest starring as Chief Senzangakhona, the proud leader of the Zulu people who denies Shaka’s birthright, Dlathu as Inyoni, a council leader and midwife, and Hadebe as young Shaka.

Bingwa stars in the Paramount+ series The Good Fight as Carmen Moyo and starred in the feature film Black Box. She will next be seen in KING SHAKA executive producer Antoine Fuqua’s Emancipation. Additional credits include Trees of Peace, Little Sista and Nekrotronic. Obi-Melekwe earned acclaim in her Broadway debut as Tina Turner in Tina – The Tina Turner Musical. She also appeared in the CBS series Bull and the SHOWTIME series SMILF.

Kgoroge starred most recently as police chief Khaya Meyer in the dark comedy series Recipes for Love and Murder. Additional credits include Imbewu: The Seed, Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, Blood Diamond, Lord of War and Hotel Rwanda. Dlathu is best known for her work in the drama series The River as the villainous Lindiwe Dlamini and as Nomthandazo Buthelezi in Muvhango. She also worked alongside Whoopi Goldberg in the feature film Sarafina. Additional credits include Khululeka and Soul City. Hadebe started his career as a host on the series Yo, and later as a host on Epic Hangout. His credits include Deep State, Down the Zambezi, The Estate and Cash and Carry.

Rooted in actual events, KING SHAKA tells the story of the Zulu Empire founder Shaka (Charles 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.

KING SHAKA is created and executive produced by Olu Odebunmi and Tolu Awosika, and executive produced by Antoine 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 Hill District Media. Gugulethu Zuma-Ncube and Pepsi Pokane also produce.

As part of the production investment in South Africa and the KZN province, nearly 1,000 locals have been hired for jobs across all facets of the production, including cast, crew, performers and craftspeople. In addition, the production is working in concert with leading South African production services company Film Afrika to help facilitate filming in the region. They are also working closely with the KZN Film Commission and with career-building training programs such as SA Film Academy (SAFA) and the Academy of Creative Excellence to provide production internships and other opportunities.

Showtime Networks Inc. (SNI), a wholly owned subsidiary of Paramount, owns and operates the premium service SHOWTIME®, which features critically acclaimed original series, provocative documentaries, box-office hit films, comedy and music specials and hard-hitting sports. SHOWTIME is available as a stand-alone streaming service across all major streaming devices and Showtime.com, as well as via cable, DBS, telco and streaming video providers. SNI also operates the premium services THE MOVIE CHANNEL™and FLIX®, as well as on demand versions of all three brands. SNI markets and distributes sports and entertainment events for exhibition to subscribers on a pay-per-view basis through SHOWTIME PPV®. For more information, go towww.SHO.com [sho.com].



MORE CAST ANNOUNCED FOR SHOWTIME DRAMA SERIES KING SHAKA





MORE CAST ANNOUNCED FOR SHOWTIME DRAMA SERIES KING SHAKA

LOS ANGELES – September 8, 2022 –SHOWTIME announced today that Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Lost, Oz), Mustafa Shakir (Luke Cage) will star and Terry Pheto (Tsotsi, The Bold & the Beautiful) and Lerato Mvelase (Justice Served) will guest star in the highly anticipated new series KING SHAKA, an epic drama centered around one man’s personal journey from stigmatized childhood to legendary king. They join previously announced cast Charles Babalola (The Outlaws) as Shaka, Aïssa Maïga (The Fear Index), Thando DIomo (The Woman King), Thapelo Mokoena (Bulletproof) and Warren Masemola (Queen Sono). The CBS Studios production, produced with Propagate and Fuqua Films and to be fully shot in South Africa, kicks off later this month in the historic KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) South Africa province, the birthplace of King Shaka, and will debut on SHOWTIME in 2023.

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

Akinnuoye-Agbaje is best known for his NAACP Image Award-nominated work as Simon Adebisi in Oz, as well as Mr. Eko in Lost and Lock-Nah in 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. Additional credits include The Bourne Identity, His Dark Materials, Trumbo and The Fix.

Shakir started most recently in Cowboy Bebop opposite John Cho and also starred in Luke Cage as Bushmaster. He will next be seen in KING SHAKA executive producer Antoine Fuqua’s Emancipation, Die Like Lovers and Ghosted. Other credits include The Deuce, The Night Of, Brawl in Cell Block 99 and Jett.

Pheto is a critically acclaimed international award-winning actor, producer and casting director. Her film credits include playing Miriam in the Oscar® winning film Tsotsi, Evelyn in Long Walk to Freedom, Winnie Mandela in Madiba, Naledi Khama in A United Kingdom and Dr. Malaika Maponya in The Bold and The Beautiful.

Mvelase is known for her Emmy® Award-nominated role in the South African drama series Home Affairs. She is currently hosting the reality series Seng’Khathele and starring in The Estate. Other credits include Justice Served, Thola, Intersexions, Life Above All, Umkhungo and For Love and Broken Bones.

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.

KING SHAKA is created and executive produced by Olu Odebunmi and Tolu Awosika, and executive produced by Antoine 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.

As part of the production investment in South Africa and the KZN province, more than 300 locals have been hired for jobs across all facets of the production, including cast, crew, performers and craftspeople. In addition, the production is working in concert with leading South African production services company Film Afrika to help facilitate filming in the region. They are also working closely with the KZN Film Commission and with career-building training programs such as SA Film Academy (SAFA) and the Academy of Creative Excellence to provide production internships and other opportunities.

Showtime Networks Inc. (SNI), a wholly owned subsidiary of Paramount, owns and operates the premium service SHOWTIME®, which features critically acclaimed original series, provocative documentaries, box-office hit films, comedy and music specials and hard-hitting sports. SHOWTIME is available as a stand-alone streaming service across all major streaming devices and Showtime.com, as well as via cable, DBS, telco and streaming video providers. SNI also operates the premium services THE MOVIE CHANNEL™and FLIX®, as well as on demand versions of all three brands. SNI markets and distributes sports and entertainment events for exhibition to subscribers on a pay-per-view basis through SHOWTIME PPV®. For more information, go towww.SHO.com [sho.com].



CHARLES BABALOLA TO HEADLINE SHOWTIME DRAMA SERIES KING SHAKA





CHARLES BABALOLA TO HEADLINE SHOWTIME DRAMA SERIES KING SHAKA
Aïssa Maïga, Thando Dlomo, Thapelo Mokoena and Warren Masemola Join Cast
Production Kicking off in Historic KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa Next Month

LOS ANGELES – August 25, 2022 –SHOWTIME announced today that Charles Babalola (The Outlaws) will star as Shaka in the highly anticipated new series KING SHAKA, an epic drama centered around one man’s personal journey from stigmatized childhood to legendary king. Babalola will join fellow series regulars Aïssa Maïga (The Fear Index) as Nandi, Shaka’s devoted mother who will sacrifice everything to fulfill her son’s destiny; and Thando DIomo (The Woman King) as Pampatha, a herder who finds her fate forever entwined with Shaka’s. Thapelo Mokoena (Bulletproof) will guest star as Gendeyana, a Qwabe leader who grows close to Shaka and Nandi, along with Warren Masemola (Queen Sono) as Magazwa, who provides safe haven to Shaka and Nandi but at a cost. The CBS Studios production, produced with Propagate and Fuqua Films, kicks off next month in the historic KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) South Africa province, the birthplace of King Shaka. The series will be fully shot in South Africa and will debut on SHOWTIME in 2023.

“This outstanding international cast is, quite literally, a dream team,” says KING SHAKA creators and executive producers Olu Odebunmi and Tolu Awosika. “The powerful story of King Shaka and the Zulu Nation speaks to the very heart of everything we identify with as Africans. 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.”

As part of the production investment in South Africa and the KZN province, more than 300 locals have been hired for jobs across all facets of the production, including cast, crew, performers and craftspeople. In addition, the production is working in concert with leading South African production services company Film Afrika to help facilitate filming in the region. They are also working closely with the KZN Film Commission and with career-building training programs such as SA Film Academy (SAFA) and the Academy of Creative Excellence to provide production internships and other opportunities.

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 southern 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.

Babalola is known for his starring role in the crime thriller series The Outlaws, along with other notable roles in Black Mirror: Hated in the Nation, Bancroft and Thirteen. Film credits include Gretel & Hansel, Mary Magdalene, The Legend of Tarzan and the upcoming feature Borderlands. He recently starred in the critically acclaimed Network at The National Theatre of London.

Actor/director/producer Maïga earned a César nomination for her work in the film Bamako, becoming the first Black actress of African descent to earn the distinction. Her notable credits include The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, He Even Has Your Eyes, The African Doctor, Taken Down and The Fear Index. She will be seen in the upcoming films Quand tu seras grand (When You Grow Up) and Le marchand de sable (The Sandman).

Dlomo is making her feature film debut in The Woman King, starring Viola Davis. She has appeared in more than 30 South African theater productions and been featured in documentaries, including Oprah’s Daughters and O Girls. She is a member of the inaugural graduating class of Oprah Winfrey’s South African Leadership Academy.

Actor, producer and filmmaker Mokoena starred as Elias Motsoaledi in the film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, and as Cedric Fatani in Wild at Heart. His credits include Trackers, Between Friends: Ithala, Nothing for Mahala, Mrs. Right Guy and Drum.

Masemola is a multiple award nominee and a three-time South African Film and Television Award winner. His credits include The Republic, Tjovitjo, The River, Eye in the Sky, The Widow and Vaya.

KING SHAKA is created and executive produced by Olu Odebunmi and Tolu Awosika, and executive produced by Antoine 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.

Showtime Networks Inc. (SNI), a wholly owned subsidiary of Paramount, owns and operates the premium service SHOWTIME®, which features critically acclaimed original series, provocative documentaries, box-office hit films, comedy and music specials and hard-hitting sports. SHOWTIME is available as a stand-alone streaming service across all major streaming devices and Showtime.com, as well as via cable, DBS, telco and streaming video providers. SNI also operates the premium services THE MOVIE CHANNEL™and FLIX®, as well as on demand versions of all three brands. SNI markets and distributes sports and entertainment events for exhibition to subscribers on a pay-per-view basis through SHOWTIME PPV®. For more information, go towww.SHO.com [sho.com].