Shaka ILembe

‘Shaka ILembe’. Image via X/@philmphela

‘Shaka ILembe’: Mzansi Magic denies food poisoning incident, confirms death

Mzansi Magic has responded following reports that two ‘Shaka ILembe’ season two crew members passed away a few weeks ago.

Shaka ILembe

‘Shaka ILembe’. Image via X/@philmphela

Mzansi Magic has responded to allegations of food poisoning on the set of Shaka ILembe.


On Sunday, ZiMoja reported that an incident on the set of the record-breaking Zulu historical drama series claimed two lives almost 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,” an insider told the publication.

In addition, a family member of the assistant make-up artist told the outlet that they want answers but no one is taking accountability.


Responding to the reports, Mzansi Magic – DStv channel 161 – told TshisaLIVE there was no food poisoning incident. However, the channel did confirm there was one death.

“Mzansi Magic can confirm that there was no food poisoning on the set of Shaka ILembe,” the channel said.

“The make-up artist in question was employed on the set for only one and a half days. On her second day, she reported feeling weak with flu-like symptoms. She was promptly sent to see the medic, and her next of kin was contacted to collect her. Regrettably, her condition worsened, and she passed away three days later at home.

“Our thoughts and deepest condolences go out to her family and friends during this difficult time.”


Set in the 1700s, Shaka ILembe tells the story of the heroic rise of the iconic Zulu king, King Shaka ka Senzangakhona, played as an adult by Lemogang Tsipa. Nomzamo Mbatha plays Queen Nandi (the revered mother of Shaka) while Thembinkosi Mthembu plays King Dingiswayo.

Other cast members and stars of the series include Senzo Radebe as King Senzangakhona, Khabonina Qhubeka as Queen Ntombazi and Wiseman Mncube as King Zwide.

Currently in production, Shaka ILembe is set to return to the small screen in 2025. The much-loved drama series has also been renewed for a third season.

According to the MultiChoice website, season two will pick up the story as King Shaka begins his long prophesied reign, writing himself into history.

“The fact that viewers across South Africa, and indeed the continent, have been so passionately supportive of the show, tuning in to watch weekly, sharing their commentary online and really engaging with this layered story of the Nguni Kingdoms, has been fantastic. We are now looking forward to bringing season 2 to life,” MultiChoice’s CEO of general entertainment, Nomsa Philiso, said.