'Shaka Ilembe'

Senzo Radebe as Senzangakhona . Image via Twitter @pearlmagicprime

‘Shaka Ilembe’: Senzo Radebe discusses playing Senzangakhona

Talented actor Senzo Radede says he feels like the King Senzangakhona role in ‘Shaka Ilembe’ was made for him.

'Shaka Ilembe'

Senzo Radebe as Senzangakhona . Image via Twitter @pearlmagicprime

Gomora star, Senzokuhle “Senzo” Radebe who plays King Senzangakhona kaJama’s character in Mzansi Magic’s upcoming drama series Shaka Ilembe says he couldn’t even have dreamed of some of the success he’s enjoying now.

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The former Muvhango actor Senzo Radebe discusses the audition process that landed him the role of Senzangakhona in Shaka Ilembe with True Love.

“There’s a guy by [the name of] uNhlanhla Mdake, he’s the man who helped me bring the character to life, he gave me all the information I needed about Senzangakhona but, in terms of getting it, I went through four or five callbacks just like any other actor and every time I auditioned it was a different feeling. On the last call-back I felt that this is actually mine, because every time I did it, it felt like it was actually for me. You know how actors, half the time, they have to actually attack it to get into it, everything just flowed smoothly with this character.”

Radede also faced the challenge of staying true to the language of the time, while playing the popular role

He adds that the language it’s not the Zulu we speak as it’s very complicated and different to the colloquial Zulu we speak today. 

The star had to really familiarise himself with the language, classic Zulu, and had to read the role and make sure that he understands the language and say the words with conviction.

“[Also] working with people who really understand the Zulu culture and having the pressure of hoping I do things correctly but luckily I had people to help me, and the actors were able to help me,” he shares.

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The talented actor Senzo Radede adds that playing Senzangakhona alongside Nomzamo Mbatha’s character Queen Nandi (Shaka Zulu’s mother) is very different. 

“My relationship with Queen Nandi is very different… firstly Nomzamo’s surname is Nxumalo so we share a surname, so I take her as my sister and our relationship is beautiful.”

But Senzangakhona and Nandi are in a relationship, so he had to make that switch and be able to look at her as someone who he loves romantically.

“That switch has been a bit of a challenge from time to time, there are a lot of emotions, but it’s been a beautiful journey, and I’m sure the viewers will see it.”

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