‘King Shaka’ is in Cape Town

Published Nov 5, 2022


Cape Town - Cape Town is famous for being the go-to city in South Africa for international shoots, and now for the first time an international production is coming to South Africa to film a South African story.

The city has seen productions such as “Warrior”, “Black Sails”, “Homeland” and more recently “The Woman King” filmed on its soil.

A source working on the production said the multimillion-dollar CBS television drama “King Shaka” is in production in Cape Town.

According to call sheets seen by the “Weekend Argus”, the production is on its 31st day of shooting.

The City of Cape Town’s Film and Events Permits office has confirmed that the company producing this international TV show has made contact with them.

“Everything is still in the planning stages for City of Cape Town locations, and the Film and Events Permits office has no other information at this stage,” said City spokesperson Luthando Thyalibongo.

Various locations in the city have already been utilised to film what is expected to be a high-standard TV production. The production has also filmed some scenes at Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West, with the film boasting some familiar South African television and film actors such as Sindi Dlathu, Warren Masemola and Thapelo Mokoena.

The lead role of King Shaka is played by British actor Charles Babalola. Babalola confirmed the news on his Instagram page on August 25.

Announcing his involvement in the project, Babalola captioned a picture of himself alongside a Shaka Zulu drawing on Instagram. “Next up…. Thank you @showtime, the entire creative team, CBS studios and @antoinefuqua for trusting me to lead this series of King Shaka. Playing one of the most seminal figures in the history of South Africa and human history. Shaka Sezangakhona. This is for South Africa. Love.”

The South African producers on record are the daughter of former president Jacob Zuma, Gugu Zuma-Ncube, and business partner Pepsi Pokane, who forms part of the executive of Film Afrika. The call sheet seen by the publication reveals that the script was written by Olu Odebunmi and Tolu Awosika, who are also credited as executive producers.

It is understood that Film Afrika, which is responsible for some of the most successful international productions, is the company that is behind bringing the operation together. When the company was contacted for comment, they did not deny that the production was in full swing, but rather gave a telephone number to a person on set that yielded unsuccessful results, after many attempts.

The production office that is situated in the city centre is hard at work to ensure that the CBS drama becomes a success on the international market.

Wesgro declined to comment about the revenue and job creation the production budget will bring to the province and said it had forwarded our query on to the production company.

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