Shaka ILembe

The cast of ‘Shaka ILembe’. Image via Instagram @mzansimagic

RIP: ‘Two deaths’ on ‘Shaka ILembe’ production

Two people, who are part of the ‘Shaka Ilembe’ production set to return for a second season, have reportedly passed away.

Shaka ILembe

The cast of ‘Shaka ILembe’. Image via Instagram @mzansimagic

Food poisoning has allegedly claimed the lives of two Shaka ILembe production members.


According to ZiMoja, an insider has revealed that the incidents (which include the death of an assistant make-up artist) took place three weeks ago.

“An assistant make-up artist is also dead as a result of the food poisoning incident that left the entire production cast and crew reeling in shock. The second person’s name hasn’t been made known just yet,” the insider was quoted as saying.

“This incident has been kept under wraps, so that not much attention is drawn to it, because of the negative publicity the second season has gotten so far.

“Everyone is panicking, especially the big names that made the show a success. It’s bad, everyone hopes that the show is not highly affected,” the source added.

The reports come as Shaka ILembe – which stars Nomzamo Mbatha, Thembinkosi Mthembu and Lemogang Tsipa – is readying to return to the small screen for a second season. The record-breaking Zulu historical drama series has also been renewed for a third season.


Responding to the reports, Mzansi Magic’s Portia Hlongwa said about the assistant make-up artist: “She was already sick before she came to the set of Shaka ILembe.”

However, her family have said they want answers.

“We just want to know why our child died the way she died, and nothing was done and nobody is taking accountability,” said a family member.

The South African website reached out to Bomb Productions for comments, however, no response had been given at the time of publishing.


This is not the first time that death has struck the Shaka ILembe production. In July last year, the show’s co-creator, Teboho Mahlatsi, passed away due to cancer. Mahlatsi, who was 49 years old, was also a director and executive producer at Bomb Productions.

At the time of his passing, the prolific film-maker was working closely with South African political party the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) on their upcoming documentarySunday World reported.

Apart from the EFF project, Mahlatsi also worked on a number of award-winning and record-breaking shows. One of them being the South African television phenomenon Yizo Yizo, which is currently streaming on Netflix. Other shows he co-created and directed include Bomb Productions’ Gaz’ LamJacob’s CrossIsibayaAyeye and most recently, Shaka ILembe.