7.7/10
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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:
Edward Fox ...  Lt. Francis Farewell 10 episodes, 1986
Robert Powell ...  Dr. Henry Fynn 10 episodes, 1986
Trevor Howard ...  Lord Charles Somerset 10 episodes, 1986
Fiona Fullerton ...  Elizabeth Farewell 10 episodes, 1986
Christopher Lee ...  Lord Bathurst 10 episodes, 1986
Henry Cele ...  Shaka 10 episodes, 1986
Dudu Mkhize Dudu Mkhize ...  Nandi 10 episodes, 1986
Roy Dotrice ...  George IV 10 episodes, 1986
Gordon Jackson ...  Prof. Bramston 10 episodes, 1986
Kenneth Griffith Kenneth Griffith ...  Zacharias Abrahams 10 episodes, 1986
Conrad Magwaza Conrad Magwaza ...  Senzagakona 5 episodes, 1986
Patrick Ndlovu Patrick Ndlovu ...  Mudli 5 episodes, 1986
Roland Mqwebu Roland Mqwebu ...  Ngomane 5 episodes, 1986
Gugu Nxumalo Gugu Nxumalo ...  Mkabayi 5 episodes, 1986
Tu Nokwe Tu Nokwe ...  Pampata 5 episodes, 1986
Vuyisile Bojana Vuyisile Bojana ...  Mgobozi 5 episodes, 1986
Bingo Mbonjeni Bingo Mbonjeni ...  Bhuza 5 episodes, 1986
Simon Sabela Simon Sabela ...  Dingiswayo 5 episodes, 1986
Sam Williams Sam Williams ...  Jama 5 episodes, 1986
Alex Heyns Alex Heyns ...  Vegte 5 episodes, 1986
Graham Armitage ...  Wilkins 5 episodes, 1986
Geoff Albert Geoff Albert ...  Thomson 5 episodes, 1986
Sonke Buthelezi Sonke Buthelezi ...  Nqoboka 5 episodes, 1986
John Carson ...  Lord Kimberley 5 episodes, 1986
Khumbulani Cele Khumbulani Cele ...  Shaka (6-11) 5 episodes, 1986
Dabula Ciliza Dabula Ciliza ...  Ghubela 5 episodes, 1986
Bill Curry Bill Curry ...  Popham 5 episodes, 1986
Terence Dlamini Terence Dlamini ...  Gazi 5 episodes, 1986
Thembinkosi Dlamini Thembinkosi Dlamini ...  Mevana 5 episodes, 1986
Glen Gabela Glen Gabela ...  Shaka (15-19) 5 episodes, 1986
King Beaters Gabelah King Beaters Gabelah ...  Musi 5 episodes, 1986
Winston Gama Winston Gama ...  Mzilikazi 5 episodes, 1986
P.W.M. Gardner P.W.M. Gardner ...  Aithison 5 episodes, 1986
Keith Grenville Keith Grenville ...  Shepstone 5 episodes, 1986
Zipathe Gumede Zipathe Gumede ...  Nkalakata 5 episodes, 1986
Daphney Hlomuka Daphney Hlomuka ...  Queen Ntombazi 5 episodes, 1986
Eugene Hlomuka Eugene Hlomuka ...  Dilikana 5 episodes, 1986
James Irwin James Irwin ...  Gen. Chelmsford 5 episodes, 1986
Ian Jali Ian Jali ...  Sigiyana 5 episodes, 1986
Kerry Jordan Kerry Jordan ...  Rev. Bellow 5 episodes, 1986
Benedict Khambula Benedict Khambula ...  Witchdoctor 5 episodes, 1986
Charles Kinsman Charles Kinsman ...  Cane 5 episodes, 1986
Sokesimbone Kubheka Sokesimbone Kubheka ...  Cetshwayo 5 episodes, 1986
Bruno Luthuli Bruno Luthuli ...  Pungashe 5 episodes, 1986
Khulekani Magubane Khulekani Magubane ...  Zwide 5 episodes, 1986
Victor Majavu Victor Majavu ...  King Makedama 5 episodes, 1986
Phillip Majola Phillip Majola ...  Ngwadi (9 yrs old) 5 episodes, 1986
Humphrey Makhoba Humphrey Makhoba ...  Dingane 5 episodes, 1986
Obed Makubane Obed Makubane ...  Messenger 5 episodes, 1986
Africa Manqele Africa Manqele ...  Ngazana 5 episodes, 1986
Sonto Mazibuko Sonto Mazibuko ...  Bibi 5 episodes, 1986
Grissel Mboni Grissel Mboni ...  Mfunda 5 episodes, 1986
Peter Mgaga Peter Mgaga ...  Nzobo 5 episodes, 1986
Eric Mcanyana Eric Mcanyana ...  Godongwana 5 episodes, 1986
Dingeni Mhlongo Dingeni Mhlongo ...  Nomcoba (child) 5 episodes, 1986
Precious Mkhize Precious Mkhize ...  Njani 5 episodes, 1986
Raymond Mkhize Raymond Mkhize ...  Soshangane 5 episodes, 1986
Amos Mkhonza Amos Mkhonza ...  King Kondlo 5 episodes, 1986
Louis Mtetwa Louis Mtetwa ...  Ufasimba 5 episodes, 1986
Sally Mthembu Sally Mthembu ...  Majola 5 episodes, 1986
Lucky Mtshali Lucky Mtshali ...  Nondumo 5 episodes, 1986
Sabelo Ndebele Sabelo Ndebele ...  Ngwadi 5 episodes, 1986
Daniel Ndlovu Daniel Ndlovu ...  Dlaba 5 episodes, 1986
Isabelle Ndlovu Isabelle Ndlovu ...  Noliwa 5 episodes, 1986
Michael Nene Michael Nene ...  Mbopha 5 episodes, 1986
Shadrack Ngema Shadrack Ngema ...  Joko 5 episodes, 1986
Elliot Ngubane Elliot Ngubane ...  Mphepha 5 episodes, 1986
Peter Nkwanyana Peter Nkwanyana ...  Ufasimba 5 episodes, 1986
Alfred D. Nokwe Alfred D. Nokwe ...  Kuta 5 episodes, 1986
Emily Nompumelelo Emily Nompumelelo ...  Mahlana 5 episodes, 1986
Adalbero Ntsele Adalbero Ntsele ...  Luthuli 5 episodes, 1986
Samuel Ntsini Samuel Ntsini ...  The Nameless One 5 episodes, 1986
Horatius Ntuli Horatius Ntuli ...  Njanis Father 5 episodes, 1986
Artwell Nyembe Artwell Nyembe ...  Ufasimba Leader 5 episodes, 1986
Aletta Rabotapi Aletta Rabotapi ...  Maidservant 5 episodes, 1986
Michael Richard Michael Richard ...  Mordechai Abrahams 5 episodes, 1986
Erica Rogers ...  Queen Victoria 5 episodes, 1986
Hugh Rouse Hugh Rouse ...  Worthing 5 episodes, 1986
Cynthia Shange Cynthia Shange ...  Mkabi 5 episodes, 1986
Sibusiso Shange Sibusiso Shange ...  Phakathwayo 5 episodes, 1986
David Sherwood David Sherwood ...  Captain Blair 5 episodes, 1986
Yule Simone Yule Simone ...  Gendeyana 5 episodes, 1986
Leonard Sithole Leonard Sithole ...  Mbuya 5 episodes, 1986
Washington Xisolo Washington Xisolo ...  Bhebhe 5 episodes, 1986
Ron Smerczak ...  Ogle 5 episodes, 1986
Sibongile Sokhulu Sibongile Sokhulu ...  Nomcoba 5 episodes, 1986
Daniel Stewart ...  Tonino 5 episodes, 1986
Oliver Stole Oliver Stole ...  Mbenghi 5 episodes, 1986
Sean Taylor ...  The Prince Of Wales 5 episodes, 1986
Reginald Tsokolibane Reginald Tsokolibane ...  The Lion Man 5 episodes, 1986
Sean Weir Sean Weir ...  Hockley 5 episodes, 1986
Robert Whitehead ...  Simpson 5 episodes, 1986
Ganza Zama Ganza Zama ...  Mtonga 5 episodes, 1986
Vincent Zulu Vincent Zulu ...  Pakatwayo 5 episodes, 1986
V.E.M. Zulu V.E.M. Zulu ...  King Sodubo 5 episodes, 1986
Patrick Zungu Patrick Zungu ...  Igazi 5 episodes, 1986
Nomsa Xaba Nomsa Xaba ...  Sitayi 4 episodes, 1986
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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:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Language:

English | Zulu

Release Date:

24 November 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Shaka Zulu See more »

Filming Locations:

South Africa

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Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (original)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Based on Joshua Sinclairs novel "Shaka Zulu", which was based on Zulu oral tradition. 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 »

Alternate Versions

Also released on video in an edited, 'feature length' version. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Leech Woman (1997) 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 »

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User Reviews

 
Great action, atmosphere, acting: great miniseries
8 March 2005 | by jimbob121686See 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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