Words by: Sentwali Holder
Does anyone remember the Shaka King miniseries from back in the day? I do. It was a little ahead of its time. A semi-accurate depiction of Shaka King’s rise and eventual confrontation with British colonial imperialism … Anyway, looks like cable and streaming powerhouse Showtime has just announced a full series order for Shaka: King of the Zulu Nation an upcoming drama series. But don’t expect this to look anything like its primetime network TV predecessor because this biographical series will be executive produced and directed by Antoine Fuqua (Training Day). Shaka: King of the Zulu Nation is from CBS Studios, which has been doing quite a bit of premium production as of late as well as Propagate and Fuqua Films. The series is created and written by Olu Odebunmi and Tolu Awosika. Exec producers are Ben Silverman and Rodney Ferrell for Propagate.
The official description: Rooted in actual events, SHAKA: KING OF THE ZULU NATION tells the story of the Zulu Empire chief Shaka and his unlikely rise to power, uniting multiple tribes across vast stretches of Africa in the early 19th century to transform his power into legend, on par with history’s most seminal figures. In ferocious battles that test the body and soul, in alliances that test the bonds of love and friendship, a complex sociological system plays out that renders the human cost front and center, for the victors as well as the vanquished, all in an effort to carve out a semblance of identity, fulfillment and ultimately, survival.
“Olu and Tolu have written such an exciting and emotional origin story of an African warrior hero and Antoine’s passion for this project, coupled with his formidable talent, promises an epic series unlike any other on television,” was a quote from Gary Levine, President of Entertainment, Showtime Networks Inc.
“This project offers a gateway to our past that is so critical to our global history and yet so often marginalized,” said EP and Director, Fuqua. “Through SHAKA: KING OF THE ZULU NATION, we hope to bring this saga to life, all the tears, sweat and blood, all the joy and sorrow, all the intimacy and intensity and humanity. In short, we’re going to rock the world with this one.”