Johannesburg, June 02, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) —
  • MultiChoice Group, the largest producer of original content on the African continent, is set to debut SHAKA ILEMBE, its biggest ever primetime-drama series.
  • Created by the award-winning South African Emmy and Oscar nominated team at Bomb Productions, with global star Nomzamo Mbatha taking on double billing as lead actress and Executive Producer.

The Johannesburg Stock Exchange listed MultiChoice Group is about to debut it’s biggest ever prime-time drama series, Shaka Ilembe, an epic 12-part tale that follows the origins story of the legendary African monarch and military strategist, King Shaka. Six years in the making, the highly anticipated series boasts the talents of some of South Africa’s biggest stars, including Coming 2 America lead actress Nomzamo Mbatha.

With the epic series launching across sub-Saharan Africa on MultiChoice’s video entertainment service DStv this June, Shaka Ilembe is already attracting significant interest outside of the continent. MultiChoice Studios, the busy sales and distribution arm of the sub-Saharan business, is hard at work introducing the title to international buyers at film markets from Cannes to Los Angeles, building on a growing MultiChoice slate of original production exports including the Emmy nominated Reyka and the Deon Meyer penned Trackers.

For Nomsa Philiso, CEO of MultiChoice General Entertainment, Shaka Ilembe offers audiences worldwide the opportunity to immerse into a rich dynastic African story, set in the 1700’s.

“We are confident that this series will travel. It speaks, not only the heritage of the Zulu Nation, but to the fascination that the world has always had with King Shaka. It speaks to Africans owning the stories that their ancestors lived. And it celebrates that, long before colonialism, beyond the pages of history, there was a majestic ancient era of African Kings and Queens, warriors, healers, and leaders who lived, loved, ruled, battled, and above all, entrenched a legacy and culture that endures even today. Further, the series was filmed in isiZulu so it carries a distinct language identity, but it will be sub-titled in multiple languages so audiences from across the globe can enjoy it.”

Central to the Shaka Ilembe story is actress Nomzamo Mbatha, who balances her Executive Producer responsibilities with fulfilling a life-long ambition to play King Shaka’s beloved mother, Queen Nandi.

Speaking to her dual roles on Shaka Ilembe, Mbatha says, “This series is rich in depth, and was shot in 4K on a tremendous scale that fuels the narrative. From the fierce battlefield choreography and the meticulous accuracy of the wardrobe to the resonance of the script, it’s remarkable. And while this is a fictional story, it’s inspired by real events, people, and places. Already, ahead of our domestic launch audiences at home are very supportive because, they know like I do, that TV series like Shaka Ilembe transcends entertainment, and delivers representation, diversity, and progress.”

Mbatha leads off a top-flight ensemble cast featuring some of the country’s most charismatic leading men – Lemogang Tsipa, Senzo Radebe, Wiseman Mncube, Thembinkosi Mthembu and Mondli Makhoba alongside powerful character actresses Khabonina Qubeka, Sthandiwe Kgoroge, Dawn Thandeka King and rising star Hope Mbhele. Meanwhile, playing the boy destined to be King, is gifted young newcomer Ntando Zondi whose prodigious talent was unearthed during the filming of the series.

Filmed in South Africa, SHAKA ILEMBE features much of the country’s magnificent wildlife and scenery, including the mountains, savanna, and coastline of the lushly beautiful province of KwaZulu Natal, home to the majority of South Africa’s Zulu people. Key filming locations here included the towns of Eshowe, Nkandla Forest, Port Edward, Drakensburg, Mooi River and Zulu Falls.

Meanwhile other parts of the series were shot on a purpose-built backlot near the UNESCO World Heritage Site “The Cradle of Humankind” where Emmy and Academy nominated showrunners Bomb Productions hosted the King of the Zulu Nation, His Excellency Misuzulu kaZwelithini, during a special visit to the set for the Royal to see first-hand the level of detail and care that was employed to ensure that the authenticity of the set.

For Mauro Black, MultiChoice Studios Content, Sales, and Distributions Director, it is this credibility of intention and execution that makes SHAKA ILEMBE a powerful cultural export.

“International buyers are discerning about what they will bring their local audiences from the global TV marketplace. So, from inception, SHAKA ILEMBE was crafted to weld an immense depth of oral, written and illustrated Zulu history into the framework of a highly watchable prime-time drama. The result is a deeply meaningful but profoundly enjoyable title that should win fans in markets as diverse as Africa, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia, and the Americas.”

With over 8000 people contributing their skills to create Shaka Ilembe, the series has already won the support of five of South Africa’s biggest brands (Telkom, LottoStar, Grant’s Whisky, Toyota SA and Santam) who all signed on as commercial partners within days of seeing an extended preview of the series.  In addition, it’s Academy Award and BAFTA nominated Creative Director Angus Gibson and Sundance winning Executive Producer Desiree Markgraaff have drawn from the best of South Africa’s talent, including acclaimed Zulu musician Mbuso Khoza whose skill and vision drives the series soundtrack.


Elizabeth Ferreira 
MultiChoice Group Ltd

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 8851223


The Lebanon economic committees, chaired by former Minister Mohammed Choucair, on Friday held a meeting at the headquarters of the Beirut and Mount Lebanon Chamber of Commerce and Industry, with the Kuwaiti economic delegation currently visiting Lebanon, headed by the Assistant Undersecretary for Legal Affairs, Companies and Trade Permits at the Kuwaiti Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Dr. Muhammad Al-Jalal. Discussions during the meeting reportedly touched on the means to bolster the economic relations and enhance cooperation between the private sectors in the two countries, as well as on the investment law and incentives and opportunities available in both countries. Al-Jalaln stressed Kuwait’s keenness to assist Lebanon, and hailed the “historic relations between the two brotherly countries.” Al-Jalal also stressed the Kuwaiti Ministry’s readiness for cooperation in support of the Lebanese economy.

Source: National News Agency – Lebanon


Army Commander, General Joseph Aoun, on Friday received at his Yarzeh office, MP Nadim Gemayel, and they discussed an array of various issues. Maj. Gen. Aoun also received today a delegation of Sheikhs from the southern region of Hasbaya.

Source: National News Agency – Lebanon

SDRPY Hosts Yemeni Scholarship Students at King Saud University

The Saudi Development and Reconstruction Program for Yemen (SDRPY) hosted Yemeni scholarship students at King Saud University in Riyadh to support their study and scientific research.

This hosting ceremony, held in the university’s headquarters, also displayed the development efforts offered by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the Republic of Yemen and as an extension of the Kingdom’s support for the education sector across Yemen through SDRPY.

The Kingdom is keen to improve the lives of the brotherly Yemeni people with the leadership of the Yemeni government, said the General Supervisor of SDRPY, Ambassador Mohammed bin Saeed Al Jaber.

He also affirmed that the Kingdom is keen to provide education and learning opportunities that would contribute to creating a bright and prosperous future in Yemen.

This comes under the leadership of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince and Prime Minister.

Meanwhile, the SDRPY general supervisor praised the efforts made by King Saud University for international students, especially Yemenis.

The university provides useful programs that hone students’ skills and enhance their intellectual knowledge and skill capabilities, to improve their future.

Saleh Alshamrani, the advisor to the university’s vice president for educational and academic affairs for international students’ affairs, hailed SDRPY’s initiative to host the Yemeni scholarship students at the university.

He also praised the efforts, projects, and development initiatives presented by SDRPY in various sectors, including education, across the Yemeni governorates.

Of SDRPY’s 229 development projects, 52 have been education initiatives. Such projects have enhanced teaching and learning opportunities and created a stimulating and inclusive environment.

SDRPY’s projects and initiatives in the education sector have included providing and distributing more than 500,000 textbooks, constructing and equipping 31 new model schools, securing buses to transport school and university students, and providing around 13,000 pieces of furniture to model schools.

SDRPY has contributed to supporting and raising the efficiency of higher education at the University of Aden through several projects, including a project for the Faculty of Pharmacy to equip 18 scientific laboratories.

This is in addition to a project to support the Faculty of Law by equipping its criminal laboratory with the latest devices and technologies and an initiative to provide safe transportation for male and female students.

Other SDRPY projects in the education sector also include a project to rehabilitate and equip universities and develop the University of Sheba Region in Marib Governorate. This project has increased the university’s capacity and provided access to university education.

SDRPY’s projects also included establishing the King Salman Medical and Educational City project in Al-Mahra, consisting of an integrated university hospital. The city’s establishment aims to provide an excellent educational environment, raise the efficiency of educational institutions, and increase the chances of higher education enrollment.

SDRPY’s development projects and initiatives have been implemented in the various Yemeni governorates to serve the Yemenis in eight important sectors: education, health, water, energy, transportation, agriculture and fisheries, capacity building of government institutions, and development programs

Source: Saudi Press Agency

GASGI Participates in FIG Annual Conference in Florida

The General Authority for Survey and Geospatial Information (GASGI) participated in the annual conference of the International Federation of Surveyors (FIG), which was held from May 29 to June 1 in Orlando, Florida, USA.

The authority submitted a working paper at the conference titled, “The establishment of monitoring stations network, their performance and future,” presented by Eng. Othman bin Abdulmuhsen Alkhorayef. The paper explains the authority’s contributions to improving the Kingdom’s geospatial infrastructure through establishing a network of monitoring stations in cooperation with its partners.

GASGI is a participating member of FIG.

Established in 1878, FIG is a United Nations and World Bank recognized international non-governmental organization which covers a number of professions of the surveyor community. The federation works on improving the surveying profession, and it provides a platform for stakeholders to discuss work mechanisms and professional standards.

Source: Saudi Press Agency

With Strict Follow up by the Governor of the Northern Border Region, the First Group of Pilgrims Coming From Iraq Enter the Kingdom Via Jadidat Arar Border Inlet

The first group of pilgrims from the Republic of Iraq crossed the northern border region via the Jadidat Arar border inlet today, receiving easy and smooth entry assisted by the competent authorities.

The Regional Hajj Committee, operating under the direct supervision of Prince Faisal bin Khalid bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz, Governor of the Northern Borders Region, undertakes to finalize all procedures and provide around-the-clock services, including medical and preventive measures to pilgrims to make their spiritual journey a complete success.

Interviewed by SPA correspondents, several pilgrims arriving from Iraq expressed thanks and gratitude to the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, led by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Crown Prince and Prime Minister, for the complete care they give to the guests of Allah Almighty as well as the state-of-the-art Hajj-related services offered by the relevant authorities, lauding the warm welcome and generous hospitality accorded to them upon arrival at the Jadidat Arar border inlet.

Source: Saudi Press Agency

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Congratulates President of Italy on His country’s Republic Day

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, sent a cable of congratulations to President Sergio Mattarella of the Republic of Italy on the occasion of his country’s Republic Day.

The King expressed his sincere congratulations and best wishes of good health and happiness to His Excellency and further progress and prosperity to the friendly government and people of the Republic of Italy.

Source: Saudi Press Agency

HRH Minister of Energy Discusses Strengthening Bilateral Energy Relations with Director of China’s National Energy Administration

HRH Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Minister of Energy, met with H.E. Zhang Jianhua, Director of National Energy Administration of the People’s Republic of China, and his accompanying delegation.

The two parties discussed ways to strengthen Saudi-Chinese relations in various energy fields, in order to achieve the objectives of the Saudi Vision 2030 and China’s Belt and Road Initiative, in pursuit of both countries’ efforts to diversify their economies.

The meeting discussed areas of cooperation between the two sides and stressed the importance of ensuring the security of energy supply. The two sides also discussed potential cooperation in crude-to-chemicals projects(C2C), innovative uses of hydrocarbons, and peaceful uses of nuclear energy; nuclear fuel; the national projects for uranium exploration and mining; projects for electricity, renewable energy, clean hydrogen; and energy efficiency.

The meeting further noted the Saudi-Chinese ambitions to promote cooperation in energy supply chains, thereby contributing to enhancing flexibility and effectiveness.

The meeting noted the two countries’ efforts and cooperation in combating climate challenges through adopting the Circular Carbon Economy (CCE), which is an integrated and inclusive framework to address climate challenges and manage emissions, using all available clean technologies, especially removal technologies, while taking into consideration the national circumstances of different countries.

Source: Saudi Press Agency

The President of the Republic returns to the country after concluding his visit to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

The President of the Republic, Abdul Latif Jamal Rashid, returned today to the country, after participating in the marriage and wedding ceremony of Jordanian Crown Prince Al Hussein bin Abdullah, in response to an official invitation from His Majesty King Abdullah II of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

The President and the First Lady also extended their congratulations to the Jordanian monarch and Queen Rania Al-Abdullah, during the reception, which was held by the King at Al Husseiniya Palace, for well-wishers of their Majesties, princes and dignitaries on this occasion.

On the sidelines of the visit, President of the Republic met the Chargé d’Affairs of the Iraqi Embassy to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Munif Ali Hussein, the attaches and a number of embassy employees, where he stressed the need to make efforts to provide the needs of the community and facilitate procedures to complete their transactions.

He also spoke, during the meeting, of good relations with neighboring countries, and Iraq’s support for joint work with brotherly and friendly countries.

The President of the Republic referred to the government’s ambitious program, which placed in its priorities the consolidation of security and stability in the country, providing services to citizens, encouraging investment opportunities and providing facilities to investors wishing to work in Iraq, referring in this context to directing the Council of Advisors and Experts and the Legal Department in the Presidency of the Republic to work to restore Considering and studying all the laws issued by the previous regime.

Source: National Iraqi News Agency