As the highly anticipated premiere of the series Shaka iLembe approaches, Lemogang Tsipa expresses his excitement about the impact his role as Shaka Zulu will have on his career.
The historical series, set in the late 1700s and 1800s, delves into the story of the legendary African king Shaka Zulu, with Lemogang portraying the adult king and newcomer actor Ntando Zondi playing the boy king.
“It’s a dream come true in the sense that we’ve always wanted to be part of large-scale productions with high production value, given a budget to dream big. This role is definitely going to shift the way people perceive me,” says Lemogang in an interview with TshisaLIVE.
“Playing a great King is definitely going to change people’s perspective of me. I also believe it will open up a lot of opportunities because Shaka is one of those unique historical figures who is globally renowned.”
Despite facing backlash on social media regarding his lack of a Zulu name and physical resemblance to Henry Cele, who famously portrayed Shaka Zulu in the 1968 film, Lemogang’s mother, Sally, who attended the show’s premiere in support of her son, assures viewers that they will witness him channel the man he was raised to be in Empangeni, KwaZulu-Natal.
“I am Tswana, but Lemogang was raised in Empangeni. I raised my children with the Zulu culture.”
Throughout his career, Lemogang has captivated audiences with his performances in films like Beyond The River and popular shows such as Isithembiso, The Republic S2, and Blood Psalms. His mother believes that through his portrayal of Shaka Zulu, audiences will truly appreciate his artistic talent.
“I feel incredibly proud and grateful for his success thus far. He makes me proud as a mother, especially when I hear positive feedback about how he conducts himself among others. Since I didn’t have much knowledge about the entertainment industry, I never expected him to become this big. But in 2018, when he appeared in The River, I started realizing his exceptional talent, particularly because of his flawless acting. Now, with Shaka iLembe, he has truly amazed me. I’m very excited for him.”
Shaka iLembe will premiere on Mzansi Magic at 8pm on Sunday, June 18th. – TimesLIVE