A historical account on the life of the Zulu king Shaka.
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1989   1986  
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Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 Lt. Francis Farewell (10 episodes, 1986-1989)
...
 Dr. Henry Fynn (10 episodes, 1986-1989)
...
 Lord Charles Somerset (10 episodes, 1986-1989)
Fiona Fullerton ...
 Elizabeth Farewell (10 episodes, 1986-1989)
...
 Lord Bathurst (10 episodes, 1986-1989)
Henry Cele ...
 Shaka (10 episodes, 1986-1989)
Dudu Mkhize ...
 Nandi (10 episodes, 1986-1989)
...
 George IV (10 episodes, 1986-1989)
...
 Prof. Bramston (10 episodes, 1986-1989)
Kenneth Griffith ...
 Zacharias Abrahams (10 episodes, 1986-1989)
Conrad Magwaza ...
 Senzagakona (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Patrick Ndlovu ...
 Mudli (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Roland Mqwebu ...
 Ngomane (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Gugu Nxumalo ...
 Mkabayi (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Tu Nokwe ...
 Pampata (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Vuyisile Bojana ...
 Mgobozi (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Bingo Mbonjeni ...
 Bhuza (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Simon Sabela ...
 Dingiswayo (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Sam Williams ...
 Jama (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Alex Heyns ...
 Vegte (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Graham Armitage ...
 Wilkins (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Geoff Albert ...
 Thomson (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Sonke Buthelezi ...
 Nqoboka (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
...
 Lord Kimberley (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Khumbulani Cele ...
 Shaka (6-11) (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Dabula Ciliza ...
 Ghubela (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Bill Curry ...
 Popham (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Terence Dlamini ...
 Gazi (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Thembinkosi Dlamini ...
 Mevana (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Glen Gabela ...
 Shaka (15-19) (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
King Beaters Gabelah ...
 Musi (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Winston Gama ...
 Mzilikazi (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
P.W.M. Gardner ...
 Aithison (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Keith Grenville ...
 Shepstone (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Zipathe Gumede ...
 Nkalakata (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Daphney Hlomuka ...
 Queen Ntombazi (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Eugene Hlomuka ...
 Dilikana (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
James Irwin ...
 Gen. Chelmsford (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Ian Jali ...
 Sigiyana (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Kerry Jordan ...
 Rev. Bellow (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Benedict Khambula ...
 Witchdoctor (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Charles Kinsman ...
 Cane (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Sokesimbone Kubheka ...
 Cetshwayo (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Bruno Luthuli ...
 Pungashe (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Khulekani Magubane ...
 Zwide (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Victor Majavu ...
 King Makedama (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Phillip Majola ...
 Ngwadi (9 yrs old) (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Humphrey Makhoba ...
 Dingane (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Obed Makubane ...
 Messenger (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Africa Manqele ...
 Ngazana (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Sonto Mazibuko ...
 Bibi (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Grissel Mboni ...
 Mfunda (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Peter Mgaga ...
 Nzobo (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Eric Mcanyana ...
 Godongwana (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Dingeni Mhlongo ...
 Nomcoba (child) (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Precious Mkhize ...
 Njani (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Raymond Mkhize ...
 Soshangane (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Amos Mkhonza ...
 King Kondlo (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Louis Mtetwa ...
 Ufasimba (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Sally Mthembu ...
 Majola (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Lucky Mtshali ...
 Nondumo (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Sabelo Ndebele ...
 Ngwadi (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Daniel Ndlovu ...
 Dlaba (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Isabelle Ndlovu ...
 Noliwa (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Michael Nene ...
 Mbopha (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Shadrack Ngema ...
 Joko (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Elliot Ngubane ...
 Mphepha (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Peter Nkwanyana ...
 Ufasimba (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Alfred D. Nokwe ...
 Kuta (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Emily Nompumelelo ...
 Mahlana (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Adalbero Ntsele ...
 Luthuli (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Samuel Ntsini ...
 The Nameless One (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Horatius Ntuli ...
 Njanis Father (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Artwell Nyembe ...
 Ufasimba Leader (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Aletta Rabotapi ...
 Maidservant (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Michael Richard ...
 Mordechai Abrahams (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Erica Rogers ...
 Queen Victoria (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Hugh Rouse ...
 Worthing (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Cynthia Shange ...
 Mkabi (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Sibusiso Shange ...
 Phakathwayo (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
David Sherwood ...
 Captain Blair (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Yule Simone ...
 Gendeyana (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Leonard Sithole ...
 Mbuya (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Washington Xisolo ...
 Bhebhe (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Ron Smerczak ...
 Ogle (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Sibongile Sokhulu ...
 Nomcoba (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
...
 Tonino (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Oliver Stole ...
 Mbenghi (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
...
 The Prince Of Wales (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Reginald Tsokolibane ...
 The Lion Man (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Sean Weir ...
 Hockley (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Robert Whitehead ...
 Simpson (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Nomsa Xaba ...
 Sitayi (4 episodes, 1986-1989)
Ganza Zama ...
 Mtonga (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Vincent Zulu ...
 Pakatwayo (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
V.E.M. Zulu ...
 King Sodubo (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Patrick Zungu ...
 Igazi (5 episodes, 1986-1989)
Edit

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:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Language:

|

Release Date:

24 November 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Shaka Zulú  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$24,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (original)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
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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 (1962) 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

Shaka: [last words, as he is slain by his own bodyguards] ... THE SWALLOWS HAVE WON!
["Swallows" is the Zulus' term for the British... since they, like their bird-namesakes, first came to Africa from across the sea]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Tosh.0: We Buy Golf (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

We Are Growing
By Patric van Blerk, Julian Laxton, Margaret Singana and David Pollecutt (as Dave Pollecutt)
Sung by Margaret Singana and the Baragwanath Choir
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A great . . . and awful man
29 March 2002 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

The Story is told based in the writings of Edward Fox's character, an adventurer named Francis George Farewell. Therefore, the more savage side of his nature is undubitably exaggerated.

To the best of our knowledge the salient points are correct, even to Henry Cele sharing the same basic build as Shaka, both of them quite imposing. There is some European romanticism tossed in, but it should be must viewing for anyone who loves history. Pooh-poohed by some critics as preposterous (as was Ghost in the Darkness, also an essentially true story), it is no more amazing than Napoleon's rise from obscurity to absolute power. They parallel in so many ways, in fact, that Shaka is oft called the "Napoleon of Africa". Though many Zulus consider Napoleon the "Shaka of Europe"

The production was fraught with controversy (it was filmed in South Africa before sanctions were lifted) but tries to convey a complex and fascinating story set in a tribal Africa steeped in mysticism with ideas about life and death that were very different from Europe. It manages to convey those ideas, and Shaka's formidible intellect, quite well. On top of that, it has as its star the perfect actor for the part.

Highly recommended and worth the time it takes to view it.


17 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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