Showtime has announced the first main cast members for King Shaka (fka Shaka: King Of The Zulu Nation) including The Outlaws actor Charles Babalola as its lead.

The network recently announced that Babalola “will star as Shaka in the highly anticipated new series King Shaka, a drama centered around one man’s personal journey from stigmatized childhood to legendary king.”

The series will be fully shot in South Africa and will debut on Showtime in 2023.

Here's a description:

Rooted in actual events, KING SHAKA tells the story of the Zulu Empire founder Shaka (Babalola) and his unlikely rise to power, uniting multiple tribes across vast stretches of southern Africa in the early 19th century to transform his power into legend, on par with history’s most seminal figures. The outcast son of a Zulu Chief, Shaka is a visionary who is prophesized to become a king like none before him. In ferocious battles that test the body and soul, in alliances that test the bonds of love and friendship, a complex sociological system plays out that renders the human cost front and center, for the victors as well as the vanquished, all in an effort to carve out a semblance of identity, fulfillment and ultimately, survival.

Alongside Babalola, the series will star:

Aïssa Maïga (The Fear Index) as Nandi, Shaka’s devoted mother who will sacrifice everything to fulfill her son’s destiny and Thando DIomo (The Woman King) as Pampatha, a herder who finds her fate forever entwined with Shaka’s.

Thapelo Mokoena (Bulletproof) will guest star as Gendeyana, a Qwabe leader who grows close to Shaka and Nandi, along with Warren Masemola (Queen Sono) as Magazwa, who provides safe haven to Shaka and Nandi but at a cost.

“This outstanding international cast is, quite literally, a dream team,” says KING SHAKA creators and executive producers Olu Odebunmi and Tolu Awosika.

“The powerful story of King Shaka and the Zulu Nation speaks to the very heart of everything we identify with as Africans. It’s a blessing and honor to share the greatness of the Zulu people’s history with a full and nuanced approach that serves as a microcosm for African history across the continent. We couldn’t be more excited to reintroduce this narrative from the perspective of its own people and share it with the world.”