Ziya Xulu Shaka iLembe

Ziya Xulu and Nomzamo Mbatha. image via Instagram @ziyaxulu

‘Ride or khothama’: Who is Ziya ‘Pikile’ Xulu, Nomzamo ‘Nandi’ Mbatha’s close friend on Shaka iLembe

Nomzamo Mbatha stared alongside a young lady called Pikile on Shaka iLembe: Her real name is Ziya Xulu and here is her life story.

Ziya Xulu Shaka iLembe

Ziya Xulu and Nomzamo Mbatha. image via Instagram @ziyaxulu

Since the release of its first episode of Shaka iLembe, many fans in South Africa have been wondering who Ziya Xulu is.

Ziya plays the role of Pikile, a close friend of Nomzamo Mbatha, ‘Princess Nandi’ on the show.

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Ziya Xulu is a twenty-five-year-old multi-talented young lady: an actress, MC, Radio Presenter and musician.

The bubbly actress spoke at large of her rise to fame, saying that Anele Mdoda is her role model.


Before her rise to fame, Ziya faced so much backlash over her background from people who claimed to be fully Zulu.

Originally, Ziya Xulu is from Pietermaritzburg, and she went to middle school before she found fame.

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Speaking to snl24 on how people perceived her over the years, she said:

“Some people will make you feel like you are not Zulu enough. People will say that because ungahambi umhlanga or because you do not come from the rural areas, then you’re not Zulu enough.”

Despite looking new on Television, Ziya had been in entertainment when she was featured on Isithembiso.

Ziya Xulu Shaka iLembe
Ziya Xulu and Nomzamo Mbatha. image via Instagram @ziyaxulu


When speaking to snl24, Ziya Xulu said of her role on Shaka iLembe.

“To be part of a production like this feels wonderful. Shaka is so affirming for me. It lets me know that I am enough. It makes me feel like I have done my part as a Zulu girl,” she says.

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“No matter where I go and what I achieve in life, being part of this production will always be top five. Shaka will always be a highlight even when I make it in Hollywood.”

“Everyone is so amazing. These are people I grew up watching and now I get to work with them.”

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“My trailer was next to Nomzamo’s trailer, and I remember one day I was told someone had to quickly use my trailer just to change quickly and I said cool. As I asked who was in my trailer, Vusi Kunene walked out and I said ‘yho Jack Mabaso’ and we all laughed.

“I used to tell my mom who much I loved Thandeka on Isibaya. Now I play her bosom buddy in Shaka. She is starting to feel like a big sister, even in real life.” she said.