Shaka Ilembe nomzamo Mbatha

Nomzamo Mbatha and Shaka Ilembe has made waves on social media. Image via Twitter @Jamani_Khanyi

MultiChoice rubbishes ‘Shaka Ilembe’ copyright theft claims

‘MultiChoice Group and Bomb Productions spent seven years crafting and creating the series ‘Shaka Ilembe’.

Shaka Ilembe nomzamo Mbatha

Nomzamo Mbatha and Shaka Ilembe has made waves on social media. Image via Twitter @Jamani_Khanyi

A producer of Teddy Bear Pictures, Themba Ndaba claims that his script and concept were stolen by one of the Shaka Ilembe writers and executive producers.

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THEMBA NDABA: ‘KING SHAKA ZULU IDEA’

Themba Ndaba tells City Press that Bomb Productions, which produced Shaka Ilembe with MultiChoice stole his 2012 King Shaka Zulu idea. 

According to Ndaba, he and his team had a film idea in 2012 named King Shaka Zulu: The Warrior King and planned to release it in 2018, but their idea didn’t take off because of funding issues.

Ndaba adds that the Department of Trade, Industry, and Competition eventually approved their funding request in 2017 and that Bomb Productions knew about their plans.

He adds that the production company got funding quicker and was able to overtake them and this has been hard because they’re blacks and trying to tell the story of an African leader, Shaka Zulu, the way they know it. He also claims that they discussed his idea with Thishiwe Ziqubu (scriptwriter, director, and actor), who then took the script to Bomb Productions.

Even though the Shaka story has been told over the years, Ndaba was sure his idea and script had been stolen. 

Primrose Majiza, who wrote the Shaka Zulu: The Warrior script, agreed with Ndaba’s claims of plagiarism, while Ziqubu denied stealing any script when City Press contacted him and said he had no credits on Shaka iLembe.

“Shaka iLembe was in production before Themba contacted me. I was hired by Bomb before to write episode one, which ended up not working out. I didn’t bring them the production; they were already working on it before I was hired. You can contact Bomb Productions for further details. I have no credits on the show, so I’m not in a position to comment on it.”

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MULTICHOICE: ‘NO MERIT TO ALLEGATIONS

The MultiChoice Group and Bomb Productions revealed to the publication that they spent seven years crafting and creating the Shaka iLembe series, which premiered on Sunday, 18 June on Mzansi Magic.

MultiChoice spokesperson Litlhare Moteetee-Murendo told the publication: “We can confirm that we’ve received a letter regarding the alleged copyright infringement. The MultiChoice Group and Bomb Productions spent seven years crafting and creating the Shaka iLembe series, drawing information from various authors, historians, Nguni cultural experts, the Zulu Royal family, and other stakeholders.”

Moteetee-Murendo also said MultiChoice is confident that there’s no merit to allegations that the intellectual property was stolen by the writers or the producers of the series. 

“Shaka Zulu is a well-known historical figure admired by South Africans and the world, whose story and history have been widely shared and taught. We’re proud that we can finally tell the story from the perspective of [black] Africans.” 

Ndaba also revealed he was willing to fight for justice and he’s contacted Tebogo Sithathu of Intellectual Property Justice (previously known as the Independent Beneficiaries Forum) to resolve the matter.

Sithathu told TimesLIVE on Sunday, 18 June that Ndaba suspects the script he devised was “stolen” by a colleague, who then went on to present it to Bomb Productions.

“We are considering litigation in this matter. Yes, the story of Shaka has been told for many years, but the script has been conceived by Mr Ndaba.Is it not coincidental that the same people who Mr Ndaba shared the concept and script with are now working on Shaka Ilembe?”

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