Shaka Zulu

‘Shaka Zulu director Meshack Mavuso with the King Misuzulu kaZwelithini. Image via Instagram @mavuso101

Meshack Mavuso reacts to ‘legal threats’ to his ‘Shaka Zulu’ play

‘Shaka Zulu’ director Meshack Mavuso says he sat down with King Misuzulu kaZwelithini and refuses to be drawn into “family drama”.

Shaka Zulu

‘Shaka Zulu director Meshack Mavuso with the King Misuzulu kaZwelithini. Image via Instagram @mavuso101

Durban Gen actor and Shaka Zulu: The Gaping Wound director Meshack Mavuso says he refuses to be drawn into what he describes as “family drama” and sat down with the current King (King Misuzulu kaZwelithini) after the Shaka Zulu family accused him of using their name without consultation.   

ALSO READ:Meshack Mavuso threatened with legal action over Shaka Zulu play

Meshack Mavuso faces legal action over his play about the Zulu King. Images via Instagram: @mavuso101

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The actor Meshack Mavuso made headlines earlier this month after he has been threatened with possible legal action by the Mhlongos for not getting their permission first before taking the play to stage. The Mhlongos told Daily Sun that they were not aware of Meshack’s play, Shaka Zulu: The Gaping Wound until recently.  

Mavuso reveals in a Drum Magazine interview that he doesn’t want to entertain “family drama”.  

“I do not want to entertain this thing and be in trouble for something I do not know. The entire world knows him as Shaka Zulu. I sat down with the current King (King Misuzulu kaZwelithini) and we spoke about this and I believed that was enough. Okunye nokunye, cha mina angikwazi (I don’t know about anything else).”  

For Mavuso, the story of Ilembe Eleqa Amanye Amalembe Ngokukhalipha lives in history books, as well as in the hearts and minds of many South Africans, and this is why he has brought it to the stage of the State Theatre.  

“Anything we do as Africans involve song and dance. When we mourn, we sing and dance. When we rejoice, we sing and dance, and even when we protest we sing and dance,” says Meshack.  

“The story of Ilembe is internationally known and he is known as Shaka Zulu and so I cannot be expected to fix something that has nothing to do with me. I did not know of issues of inhlawulo (damages) that is between the families. If they want to sue anyone, they must sue those who wrote the history books and leave me alone. I must be excused from family issues.”  


The Durban Gen actor-director Meshack Mavus, who also starred as Mambush: The man with the green blanket in Marikana The Musical also tells Drum that he did not even write the Shaka Zulu play, it was written by the late playwright and director, Bongani Linda. He is the director.  

“I took the script, and I modernized it. Back when it was originally written there was no band to it, it was just isgubhu and now it has a band and it can compete with any other international stage play.”  

“It is our duty as theatre practitioners to tell these stories and hopefully they will also help the next generation with their identity too.  

“You’ll talk kuze kushone ilanga (until the end of the day) about Ilembe, but we focused on his last words when he was being killed and he said ‘Ngeke nilibuse lelizwe lobuswa izinkonjane zezulu eziphaceka ngodaka” (You won’t rule this world it will be ruled by the Heaven Barn Swallows that build nest with mud)’ – loosely translated, that means our land will always be ruled by white people.  

“We are saying that we are still living in that curse because we do not own our land and it is the white people who are in charge.”  

“Political, traditional, and spiritual leaders need to apologise to our forefathers. Maybe that will close the gaping wound that exists, where blood is flowing in our rivers.”  

The musical, Shaka Zulu: The Gaping Wound showcases at the State Theatre every night and then closes with a matinee show on Sunday at 3pm. 

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