A historical account on the life of the Zulu king Shaka.
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1986  

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Cast

Series cast summary:
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...
...
...
 Elizabeth Farewell 10 episodes, 1986
...
 Lord Bathurst 10 episodes, 1986
Henry Cele ...
Dudu Mkhize ...
...
 George IV 10 episodes, 1986
...
 Prof. Bramston 10 episodes, 1986
Kenneth Griffith ...
 Zacharias Abrahams 10 episodes, 1986
Conrad Magwaza ...
Patrick Ndlovu ...
Roland Mqwebu ...
Gugu Nxumalo ...
Tu Nokwe ...
Vuyisile Bojana ...
Bingo Mbonjeni ...
Simon Sabela ...
Sam Williams ...
Alex Heyns ...
...
Geoff Albert ...
Sonke Buthelezi ...
...
 Lord Kimberley 5 episodes, 1986
Khumbulani Cele ...
 Shaka (6-11) 5 episodes, 1986
Dabula Ciliza ...
Bill Curry ...
Terence Dlamini ...
Thembinkosi Dlamini ...
Glen Gabela ...
 Shaka (15-19) 5 episodes, 1986
King Beaters Gabelah ...
Winston Gama ...
 Mzilikazi 5 episodes, 1986
P.W.M. Gardner ...
 Aithison 5 episodes, 1986
Keith Grenville ...
 Shepstone 5 episodes, 1986
Zipathe Gumede ...
 Nkalakata 5 episodes, 1986
Daphney Hlomuka ...
 Queen Ntombazi 5 episodes, 1986
Eugene Hlomuka ...
 Dilikana 5 episodes, 1986
James Irwin ...
 Gen. Chelmsford 5 episodes, 1986
Ian Jali ...
Kerry Jordan ...
 Rev. Bellow 5 episodes, 1986
Benedict Khambula ...
 Witchdoctor 5 episodes, 1986
Charles Kinsman ...
Sokesimbone Kubheka ...
 Cetshwayo 5 episodes, 1986
Bruno Luthuli ...
 Pungashe 5 episodes, 1986
Khulekani Magubane ...
Victor Majavu ...
 King Makedama 5 episodes, 1986
Phillip Majola ...
 Ngwadi (9 yrs old) 5 episodes, 1986
Humphrey Makhoba ...
Obed Makubane ...
 Messenger 5 episodes, 1986
Africa Manqele ...
Sonto Mazibuko ...
Grissel Mboni ...
Peter Mgaga ...
Eric Mcanyana ...
 Godongwana 5 episodes, 1986
Dingeni Mhlongo ...
 Nomcoba (child) 5 episodes, 1986
Precious Mkhize ...
Raymond Mkhize ...
 Soshangane 5 episodes, 1986
Amos Mkhonza ...
 King Kondlo 5 episodes, 1986
Louis Mtetwa ...
 Ufasimba 5 episodes, 1986
Sally Mthembu ...
Lucky Mtshali ...
Sabelo Ndebele ...
Daniel Ndlovu ...
Isabelle Ndlovu ...
Michael Nene ...
Shadrack Ngema ...
Elliot Ngubane ...
Peter Nkwanyana ...
 Ufasimba 5 episodes, 1986
Alfred D. Nokwe ...
Emily Nompumelelo ...
Adalbero Ntsele ...
Samuel Ntsini ...
 The Nameless One 5 episodes, 1986
Horatius Ntuli ...
 Njanis Father 5 episodes, 1986
Artwell Nyembe ...
 Ufasimba Leader 5 episodes, 1986
Aletta Rabotapi ...
 Maidservant 5 episodes, 1986
Michael Richard ...
 Mordechai Abrahams 5 episodes, 1986
...
 Queen Victoria 5 episodes, 1986
Hugh Rouse ...
 Worthing 5 episodes, 1986
Cynthia Shange ...
Sibusiso Shange ...
 Phakathwayo 5 episodes, 1986
David Sherwood ...
 Captain Blair 5 episodes, 1986
Yule Simone ...
 Gendeyana 5 episodes, 1986
Leonard Sithole ...
Washington Xisolo ...
Ron Smerczak ...
Sibongile Sokhulu ...
...
Oliver Stole ...
Sean Taylor ...
 The Prince Of Wales 5 episodes, 1986
Reginald Tsokolibane ...
 The Lion Man 5 episodes, 1986
Sean Weir ...
Robert Whitehead ...
Ganza Zama ...
Vincent Zulu ...
 Pakatwayo 5 episodes, 1986
V.E.M. Zulu ...
 King Sodubo 5 episodes, 1986
Patrick Zungu ...
Nomsa Xaba ...
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Storyline

Framed around Queen Victoria's decision on England's political stance towards the Zulu Nation, this mini-series details King Shaka's rise and fall with mythic detail. Prophecy is mixed with recorded fact regarding Shaka's birth, exile, innovations in warfare, assumption of the throne, building of the Zulu Empire, first contact with Europe and the events that lead to his downfall. Written by Renee Ann Byrd <byrdie@wyrdbyrd.org>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Most Savage Warrior of All Time!


Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

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Details

Language:

|

Release Date:

24 November 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Shaka Zulú  »

Filming Locations:


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Box Office

Budget:

$24,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (original)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This has been the most repeatedly screened mini-series ever shown on television in the United States. By 1992, over 350 million viewers had seen it. The series dislodged The Hunters (1957) and The Gods Must Be Crazy (1980) and its sequels as the prime shaper of American perceptions of "tribal" history in southern Africa. The series even achieved cult status. The UK actors who worked on the project were nearly blacklisted by the UN. See more »

Quotes

Somerset: Since he ascended the throne of the Zulus in 1816, Shaka has forged one of the mightiest empires the African continent has ever known... In less than 6 years, his small, insignificant tribe has risen from obscurity and given its name to an all-powerful nation organized into a fearsome military machine. Shaka is known as a mass murderer - a depraved ogre whose thirst for conquest knows no limits. He has deluged his country with innocent blood, disregarding the most sacred ties of affection, ...
See more »

Connections

Followed by Shaka Zulu: The Citadel (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Greensleeves
(uncredited) (music box)
Traditional
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User Reviews

 
Great action, atmosphere, acting: great miniseries
8 March 2005 | by See all my reviews

Although not a despot known to many, Shaka Zulu controlled an empire at the height of his power comparable to that of Napolean and was as brutal as Vlad the Impaler; this miniseries very successfully shows his rise to power, relationship with British envoys, and eventual fall.

As the mini-series opens, a solemn South African representative listens to the British elite, including Queen Victoria, belittle his people and then begs them to let his people keep their sovereignty. The series then flashbacks to the British embassy going to meet Shaka, running into trouble, and eventually earning his trust after an assassination attempt. The series then flashbacks to his rise to power from a young boy to the most powerful man on the continent of Africa. The flashbacks never get confusing, the story is always well told. The cinematography is brilliant, the acting (especially by Henry Cele in the title role) is very competent, and the characters are very compelling.

The series has a little something for everyone, although I think it would appeal more to history buffs like myself. In addition, there is substantial amounts of nudity, as most of the African women go around topless. While the nudity didn't detract from the narrative or become gratutitious, it is something to think about before letting younger viewers watch.

All in all i heartily recommend this mini-series, whether for a really, really rainy day or an hour at at time after work.


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