African showbiz news and entertainment

Wiseman Mncube brings Mandoza back to life in biopic ‘Nkalakatha’

South African actor, playwright, singer and director Wiseman Mncube says he immersed himself in the life of the late kwaito superstar Mandoza, spending time with his widow and children as he sought to learn about the life of the man who he portrays in an upcoming six-part biopic.

The Shaka Ilembe star will lead the cast of the anticipated BET Africa biopic Nkalakatha: The Life of Mandoza, with supporting roles by Lorraine Moropa, Lillian Dube, Dawn Thandeka King, Mzambiya, Khotso Phosa, Lindo Sithole, Phineas Bullets and Fanele Zulu.

The six-part series will premiere on August 16 at 9pm, with Mandoza’s widow, Mpho Tshabalala, serving as the executive producer of a show that will seek to unravel the life of a kwaito star who became one of the first major crossover acts in post-apartheid South Africa.

“Before shooting, I had the incredible opportunity to spend a few days in Zola, immersing myself in Mandoza’s world. Mpho Tshabalala, Mandoza’s wife and Tumelo, his son were actively involved in the process, sharing a wealth of insights,” Mncube said of his preparations.

“The weight of portraying an icon was heavy on my shoulders. I felt a deep responsibility to honour his memory and pay homage to his legacy and I am honoured to have been chosen for the role.”

Monde Twala, senior vice president & GM at Paramount Africa and Lead BET International said the biopic served as a fitting tribute to a larger-than-life character that left an indelible mark in African showbiz.

“Mandoza was a true icon, whose music transcended boundaries and united a nation. His magnetic presence and powerful lyrics resonated with people from all walks of life, breaking down racial divides and creating a sense of unity.

“It is imperative that we tell the stories of extraordinary heroes like Mandoza, who were larger than life and left an indelible mark on pop culture across the continent.

“Through Nkalakatha: the Life of Mandoza we honour his legacy and celebrate his profound impact, reminding us all of the power of music, storytelling and the ability of individuals to bring people together.”