Johannesburg, June 02, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) —
  • MultiChoice Group, the largest producer of original content on the African continent, is set to debut SHAKA ILEMBE, its biggest ever primetime-drama series.
  • Created by the award-winning South African Emmy and Oscar nominated team at Bomb Productions, with global star Nomzamo Mbatha taking on double billing as lead actress and Executive Producer.

The Johannesburg Stock Exchange listed MultiChoice Group is about to debut it’s biggest ever prime-time drama series, Shaka Ilembe, an epic 12-part tale that follows the origins story of the legendary African monarch and military strategist, King Shaka. Six years in the making, the highly anticipated series boasts the talents of some of South Africa’s biggest stars, including Coming 2 America lead actress Nomzamo Mbatha.

With the epic series launching across sub-Saharan Africa on MultiChoice’s video entertainment service DStv this June, Shaka Ilembe is already attracting significant interest outside of the continent. MultiChoice Studios, the busy sales and distribution arm of the sub-Saharan business, is hard at work introducing the title to international buyers at film markets from Cannes to Los Angeles, building on a growing MultiChoice slate of original production exports including the Emmy nominated Reyka and the Deon Meyer penned Trackers.

For Nomsa Philiso, CEO of MultiChoice General Entertainment, Shaka Ilembe offers audiences worldwide the opportunity to immerse into a rich dynastic African story, set in the 1700’s.

“We are confident that this series will travel. It speaks, not only the heritage of the Zulu Nation, but to the fascination that the world has always had with King Shaka. It speaks to Africans owning the stories that their ancestors lived. And it celebrates that, long before colonialism, beyond the pages of history, there was a majestic ancient era of African Kings and Queens, warriors, healers, and leaders who lived, loved, ruled, battled, and above all, entrenched a legacy and culture that endures even today. Further, the series was filmed in isiZulu so it carries a distinct language identity, but it will be sub-titled in multiple languages so audiences from across the globe can enjoy it.”

Central to the Shaka Ilembe story is actress Nomzamo Mbatha, who balances her Executive Producer responsibilities with fulfilling a life-long ambition to play King Shaka’s beloved mother, Queen Nandi.

Speaking to her dual roles on Shaka Ilembe, Mbatha says, “This series is rich in depth, and was shot in 4K on a tremendous scale that fuels the narrative. From the fierce battlefield choreography and the meticulous accuracy of the wardrobe to the resonance of the script, it’s remarkable. And while this is a fictional story, it’s inspired by real events, people, and places. Already, ahead of our domestic launch audiences at home are very supportive because, they know like I do, that TV series like Shaka Ilembe transcends entertainment, and delivers representation, diversity, and progress.”

Mbatha leads off a top-flight ensemble cast featuring some of the country’s most charismatic leading men – Lemogang Tsipa, Senzo Radebe, Wiseman Mncube, Thembinkosi Mthembu and Mondli Makhoba alongside powerful character actresses Khabonina Qubeka, Sthandiwe Kgoroge, Dawn Thandeka King and rising star Hope Mbhele. Meanwhile, playing the boy destined to be King, is gifted young newcomer Ntando Zondi whose prodigious talent was unearthed during the filming of the series.

Filmed in South Africa, SHAKA ILEMBE features much of the country’s magnificent wildlife and scenery, including the mountains, savanna, and coastline of the lushly beautiful province of KwaZulu Natal, home to the majority of South Africa’s Zulu people. Key filming locations here included the towns of Eshowe, Nkandla Forest, Port Edward, Drakensburg, Mooi River and Zulu Falls.

Meanwhile other parts of the series were shot on a purpose-built backlot near the UNESCO World Heritage Site “The Cradle of Humankind” where Emmy and Academy nominated showrunners Bomb Productions hosted the King of the Zulu Nation, His Excellency Misuzulu kaZwelithini, during a special visit to the set for the Royal to see first-hand the level of detail and care that was employed to ensure that the authenticity of the set.

For Mauro Black, MultiChoice Studios Content, Sales, and Distributions Director, it is this credibility of intention and execution that makes SHAKA ILEMBE a powerful cultural export.

“International buyers are discerning about what they will bring their local audiences from the global TV marketplace. So, from inception, SHAKA ILEMBE was crafted to weld an immense depth of oral, written and illustrated Zulu history into the framework of a highly watchable prime-time drama. The result is a deeply meaningful but profoundly enjoyable title that should win fans in markets as diverse as Africa, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia, and the Americas.”

With over 8000 people contributing their skills to create Shaka Ilembe, the series has already won the support of five of South Africa’s biggest brands (Telkom, LottoStar, Grant’s Whisky, Toyota SA and Santam) who all signed on as commercial partners within days of seeing an extended preview of the series.  In addition, it’s Academy Award and BAFTA nominated Creative Director Angus Gibson and Sundance winning Executive Producer Desiree Markgraaff have drawn from the best of South Africa’s talent, including acclaimed Zulu musician Mbuso Khoza whose skill and vision drives the series soundtrack.


Elizabeth Ferreira 
MultiChoice Group Ltd

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 8851223

Eight years of aggression targeting women and children

Research and Information Center: Zaid Al-Mahbashi- Eight years of barbaric, Hebrew aggression against Yemen, during which the country of faith, wisdom and its children from the descendants of Ansar turned into a field of experiments for the latest weapons factories in the world, during which the aggression coalition and aggression trampled on all international laws and customs related to the ethics of war, and threw all the laws of heavenly laws to the wall…

So, we are facing an enemy that has no religion, no morals, and no covenant. He used all forbidden weapons in his criminal war against the Yemenis, and he did not respect the sanctity of anything, enjoying throughout the eight embers years the torture, killing of the Yemenis, and using the scorched earth policy against them, and children and women had the lion’s share of the suffering his unjust aggression at all levels.

Despite all the dirty methods the enemy used to bring the Yemenis to their knees and undermine their dignity, here is Yemen more steadfast, strong, solid, aggressive, and determined to continue fighting the invaders, aggressors, and to purify Yemen of their filth and malice.

In the report, we will suffice to provide a brief digital reading of the most important damages suffered by Yemeni women and children during the eight years of aggression, to stop at the most prominent stations and addresses of that reckless aggression, because knowing all the details and repercussions of the damages inflicted on our women and children needs a series of reports, and our purpose is to reveal and expose the truth of the aggression in front of the international court of conscience is dumb, deaf, blind, and if numbers speak, the tongues of human rights advocates become mute.

What happened to Yemen during the eight years of aggression is a disgrace to humanity and a curse that will haunt the claimants of human rights in the International Court of Conscience for decades to come.

killings and injured:

“Intesaf”, one of the organizations specialized in women and children’s affairs, estimated the aggression’s victims among children and women in Yemen from the beginning of the aggression until March 24, 2023, due to raids and missiles, at three thousand and 896 dead children and two thousand and 445 women, while the number of injured reached four thousand and 298 children and two thousand and 869 women.

The total number of child victims is 8,195 killing and injured, and women are 5,314 killings and injured.

The killing rate among female patients due to the closure of Sana’a International Airport reached 30%, which is a catastrophic rate, especially since it included a segment of patients suffering from diseases that could be cured if they were allowed to travel abroad for treatment in a timely manner.

According to the estimates of the “Eye of Humanity” Center for Rights and Development, the number of victims over 8 years amounted to 48,349, including 18,140 martyrs and 30,254 injured.

The center confirmed that the number of killings and injured children during the 8 years of aggression reached 4,079 killing and 4,790 injured, while the number of killing and injured men reached 11,603 martyrs and 22,476 injured, while the number of killing and injured women reached 2,458 killings and 2,988 injured.

While UN estimates say that the percentage of victims among children and women is 15% of the total victims of the war in Yemen, the Minister of Health in Sana’a spoke of 16,000 killing and injured children and women.

In a report published in 2022, the United Nations spoke of the killing or maiming of more than 10,200 children.

The most prominent aggression’s massacres against women and children:

1- Salah al-Din residential massacre in Taiz, on August 22, 2015, which was caused by the aggression’s warplanes, injuring and killing dozens of innocent civilians, including women and children.

2-A wedding party near Al-Mocha port in Taiz province, on September 28, 2015, which led to the killing of more than 135 civilians, most of them children and women.

3-Sanban Dhamar wedding, on October 8, 2015, which resulted in killing 54 civilians, mostly women and children, and the injuries of 31 others, including 15 children and 17 women.

4-Women gathered around a well in Al-Misrakh district of Taiz province, on November 29, 2015, which led to the killing of 12 women.

5-Targeting a funeral procession, on October 8, 2016, in which more than 750 people were killed and wounded.

Al-Falah Primary School, northeast of Sana’a, on January 10, 2017, which resulted in the killing of 3 children, including a girl called “Ishraq Al-Maarafi”, who was lying on the ground in her school uniform, her school bag next to her, and injuring 4 children.

7-The “Arhab” massacre in Sana’a province, on February 15, 2017, in which dozens of killings and injuries, including women and children, were killed.

8- Faj Attan neighborhood massacre, southwest of the capital, Sana’a, on August 25, 2017, in which “Buthaina” (8 years old) lost her parents, her uncle, and 4 of her siblings. Her image, while trying to open her injured right eye while her left eye swells, sparked controversy on social networking sites and websites, media, and was the best witness to the crimes of the Hebrew aggression.

9-Targeting a group of women in Hassan area of Hareeb Al-Qarmish from Marib province business while they were returning from a wedding, on December 17, 2017.

10-The wedding of “Yahya Jaafar” in Bani Qais area of Hajjah province, on April 22, 2018, which led to the killing of more than 30 civilians, most of them women and children, and the image of the child who remained close to his father’s body as a result of the attack remained in the minds.

11-A school bus in a crowded market in Dahyan, Sa’ada province, on August 9, 2018, killing and injuring more than 120 children.

12-The Libyan neighborhood massacre, west of Sana’a, on January 17, 2022, which resulted in the killing of 29 people, including the director of the Aviation and Air Defense School. During that operation, the aggression warplanes prevented ambulances from reaching the residential neighborhoods in that area.

All of these are crimes that cannot be erased from the memory of Yemenis for decades to come, due to their ugliness and the heinousness of their perpetrators.

Disabilities and deformities:

The aggression missiles, its prohibited weapons, mines, and the remnants of its cluster bombs have caused disabilities that will remain a disgrace to the United Nations and international organizations claiming to protect the rights of women and children.

The statistics speak of an increase in the number of persons with disabilities from 3 million before the aggression to 4.5 million, including 6,000 civilians who were disabled as a result of the “Saudi-Emirati” aggression, including 5,559 children, and the actual number is expected to be much higher.

Thousands of women have also been subjected to physical and psychological disabilities, and there are more than 16,000 cases of women and children in need of physical rehabilitation.

The victims’ number of mines and cluster bomb remnants reached 8,104 children and women, including 204 children, including 44 martyrs in 11 provinces, and 26 women, including 4 killings, since the armistice took effect on April 2, 2022, until March 1, 2023, not to mention thousands of injuries and martyrs due to mines, and cluster bombs since the beginning of the sinful aggression against Yemen.

The figures speak of the killing of 1,019 people due to the remnants of cluster bombs, including 115 children and 39 women, and the injury of 2,822.

The most terrible thing is the high rate of congenital anomalies and miscarriage of fetuses, at a rate of 350,000 abortions, and 12,000 cases of deformity, due to the use of prohibited weapons by aggression, and the registration of 3,000 cases of children suffering from heart defects who need to travel abroad for treatment.

Displacement is endless tragedies:

The number of IDPs increased during the period “March 2015-February 2023” to 5,160,560 IDPs, half of whom are women and children, including 740,122 families, 27% of whom are women under the age of 18, which increases their vulnerability to violence.

The number of displaced children is 1.71 million.

21% The number of the displaced families are headed by women under the age of 18, with 1 out of 3 displaced families headed by women.

women have lost their husbands because of the war, according to UN reports 60.000.

Yemeni families are supported by women, according to UN reports 417.000.

The western coast and occupied southern provinces:

The crimes’ forms and methods of the Hebrew aggression against the women and children of the West Coast and the occupied southern provinces varied and multiplied.

The number of violations on the West Coast exceeded 695, including 132 crimes of rape and 56 crimes of kidnapping.


The figures speak of the presence of 2,400,000 children outside the school walls, including 10.6 million children of school age (from 6 to 17 years), the destruction and damage of 3,500 schools, the closure of about 27% of schools, the damage of 66% of schools, and the use of 7% of schools as shelters for the displaced.

6-6,1 million children face interruption in education, according to the statistics of the Education Ministry in Sana’a.

8,1 million children need emergency education assistance across the country.

31% of Yemeni girls are out of school.

Child labor:

The Hebrew aggression caused the destruction of infrastructure, the interruption of salaries, and the paralysis of economic life. The persistence in massacres against innocent people caused the death of thousands of parents, which led to placing a heavy burden on children, assuming them the responsibility to support their families, depriving them of their right to education, and enjoying their childhood.

The figures speak of 1.4 million working children in Yemen who are deprived of their most basic rights, 34.3% of whom are between the ages of 5, 17, and 12.6 million children who need some form of humanitarian assistance or protection, out of every 10 children more than 8 live with Families who do not have enough income to meet their basic needs.

The child labor rate during the period of aggression increased 4 times, compared to what it was before the aggression, and poverty rates reached 80%.

For health:

The figures speak of 2.3-3.6 million children under the age of five suffering from malnutrition, an increase of 66% over the last two years.

632 Thousand children suffer from severe acute malnutrition, which threatens their lives with death during the year 2022.

1,5 million pregnant and breastfeeding mothers suffer from malnutrition, of which 650,495 women are moderately malnourished.

A woman and 6 newborns die every two hours, due to complications of pregnancy or childbirth, and the deterioration of health care services, according to UNICEF June 2019, and the United Nations November 24, 2019.

A child dies every 10 minutes from malnutrition and other preventable diseases, 15 pregnant women every day, and one woman every day at birth, according to United Nations figures, in September 2018.

More than 288-300 children under the age of five die daily due to malnutrition, and 500 maternal deaths due to pregnancy and childbirth per 100,000 live births, after the maternal mortality rate at birth was 148 per 100,000 cases, an increase of up to 200%.

The death of 100,000 newborn children, 40,320 pregnant women, and infant deaths during the aggression period 727,760.

Women who are expected to lose their lives during pregnancy or childbirth are approximately 17 thousand women.

.8 million women need life-saving services.

%86 of children under the age of five suffer from anemia, and 46% of them suffer from stunting.

8 out of 10 children suffer from malnutrition, according to figures from a United Nations agency.

1,000 Yemeni children die daily, and 150,000 children die annually, due to aggression, siege, lack of equipment and medicines, according to reports of international organizations.

85 out of 1,000 children under five die from some type of preventable disease, and 80 out of 1,000 births die.

265,000 children die annually due to one of the five diseases, “pneumonia, diarrhea, measles, malaria, and malnutrition.” The annual death rate before the aggression did not exceed 80,000 children.

Children’s cancer:

3000 children with cancer are at risk of death, and need to travel abroad.

71,000 cancer cases have been recorded among children since the beginning of the aggression.

80,000 people with cancer in Yemen, during the aggression years, as a result of the use of internationally prohibited weapons, according to the Ministry of Health in Sana’a.

9,000 cancer cases are added annually, 15% of whom are children, according to the Ministry of Health in Sana’a.

12 thousand dies from disease.

The number of people with leukemia among children in Al-Amanah increased from 300 cases to 700 cases, as a result of the aggression’s use of internationally prohibited weapons in Atan and Nuqm, and the injury of 1,000 children in the rest of the provinces.

We have a detailed reading on cancer published last year, and more than 20 readings on the repercussions of aggression at all levels, published by Saba Agency and Al-Seyassiya newspaper in the last three years.

Premature babies:

The percentage of premature births increased to 8% compared to the situation before the aggression, at a rate of 22,566 cases, and the number of births in the year reached 1,120,000, of whom 39% were born prematurely, and 80 newborns died daily, due to the internationally prohibited weapons used in the aggression against Yemen, and the lack of equipment, medicines and medical expertise due to unjust blockade.

By “premature” we mean a baby born less than 3 weeks before the normal due date.

The catastrophe is magnified with the limited number of nurseries, which do not exceed 600 nurseries, while the actual need of the health sector is 2,000 nurseries, which caused the death of 50% of premature newborns, due to the repercussions of the aggression and the blockade.

Medications for women:

The unjust blockade has caused the lack of more than 50% of cancer patients’ medicines, especially targeted and chemotherapy medicines, and 70% of obstetric medicines are not available.


Statistics and reports issued in 2015 revealed that women-owned companies were more affected by the aggression compared to male-owned companies, although the number of affected women’s companies represented only 4% of the total companies before the aggression.

A study conducted by the United Nations Development Program mentioned the closure of 42% of women-owned companies in the trade, services and industry sectors in 2015, due to material damage caused by the aggression, in addition to the loss of capital and the lack of electricity and fuel.

we can imagine the size and severity of the damage that Yemeni women suffered in the world of finance and business during the eight years of aggression.

Source: Yemen News Agency

Health Ministry is making preparations for fourth conference of laboratory medicine

The Ministry of Public Health and Population, represented by the National Center for Central Health Laboratories, is making preparations for holding the Fourth Conference on Laboratory Medicine, Reality and Ambition.

The Director General of the Center, Chairman of the Basic Organizing Committee, Dr. Abdul-Ilah Al-Harazi, explained to the Yemeni News Agency (Saba), that the conference, which is held under the slogan “Quality and Efficiency of Medical Laboratories, the Gateway to a Safe Future” during the period from 6-8 June, aims to advance laboratory medicine academically and professionally and raise the level Total quality in laboratories.

He pointed out that the conference will discuss a number of axes on sustainability in the application of internal and external quality programs in medical laboratories, programs for infection control and control in health facilities and antimicrobial resistance, in addition to tumors, blood diseases and complementarity between laboratory medicine, pathology and modern technologies in laboratory medicine, sterility and examinations Laboratory and the role of the Syndicate of Diagnostic Medicine in raising the efficiency of laboratories.

The Chairman of the Committee stressed the importance of laboratory diagnostic medicine as one of the largest professional groups in the field of health care that relies on in diagnosis and treatment, considering the conference an opportunity for all those interested in laboratory medicine from different governorates to exchange experiences with specialists and researchers and discuss related professional and research issues.

For his part, Deputy Chairman of the Organizing Committee Abdul Rahman Al-Wazir stated that the conference will discuss 27 research papers submitted by researchers from Yemen, Britain, the Netherlands, America, Malaysia, Egypt, Jordan and China.

He pointed to the importance of the conference, which will be attended by more than a thousand participants from various governorates and medical specialties, to highlight the quality, the role of the laboratory medicine profession, and the risks that the staff working in this profession are exposed to.

The minister stated that the conference will be accompanied by an exhibition of companies importing and marketing laboratory medical products, and specialized training and research workshops.

He pointed out that the National Center for Central Health Laboratories organized three medical conferences, during which 75 working papers were discussed about the stages of laboratory medicine, comprehensive quality in laboratory medicine, the status of laboratory medicine in Yemen, field epidemiology, and the reality of diagnostic and laboratory medical services.

The vice-chairman of the committee stressed the importance of laboratory diagnostic medicine, as it is one of the largest professional groups in the field of health care on which it relies in diagnosis and treatment, pointing to the importance of the conference in raising awareness and introducing the role of laboratory specialists.

Source: Yemen News Agency

Hajjah .. Discussing activation of community initiatives and handing over an air compressor to Kuhlan Al-Sharaf

The Central Emergency Development Interventions Unit at the Ministry of Finance delivered on Friday an air compressor to the Kuhlan Al Sharaf District in Hajjah province.

The delivery of the compression comes within the framework of supporting community initiatives in the district, especially road initiatives, to contribute to cutting stones for paving roads.

The delivery took place in the presence of the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Yemeni News Agency, Saba – Editor-in-Chief Nasr Al-Din Amer, and the Director General of the Operations Room at the Ministry of Finance, Fathi Al-Samawi.

The Director of the Directorate, Salah Salih Mujmal, expressed his thanks to the leadership of the Ministry of Finance, represented by the Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs and Minister of Finance, Dr. Rashid Abboud Abu Lahoum, for the unparalleled support for community initiatives in the province.

He stressed the District keenness to absorb the largest number of initiatives and focus on the areas most in need, pointing out that the Central Intervention Unit has implemented a number of projects during the past period that contribute to alleviating the burdens on citizens and are related to their daily lives.

In addition, a meeting in the Kuhlan Al-Sharaf district discussed ways to activate community initiatives and advance the agricultural and development sector.

In the meeting, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Yemeni News Agency – Editor-in-Chief Nasr Al-Din Amer stressed the importance of integrating efforts, working in a team spirit, and sharpening efforts to promote community initiatives and actively contribute to the process of construction and development.

He pointed out the need to work in accordance with the directives of the leader of the revolution to reform the agricultural and developmental aspect and activate development partners on the ground, stressing the importance of everyone’s sense of responsibility and orientation to agriculture and setting appropriate plans for the development process according to the methodology of revolutionary development work.

In turn, the Director of the district, Salah Mujmal, emphasized the importance of strengthening cohesion between society, unifying the home front, paying attention to community initiatives, and mobilizing the Higher Academy of the Holy Quran.

He pointed to the community’s role in caring for summer courses and joining efforts to achieve the interest of the district and provide its needs for construction equipment that contribute to the development of services and reduce the burdens on citizens.

Source: Yemen News Agency

Marib… Community Initiative for Construction and Paving of al-Sahl Road, al-Kharar in al-Juba and Rahba District

The people of al-Sahl area of al-Juba in Marib province have implemented a community initiative for the construction, paving and expansion of al-Sahl road with a length of 19 kilometres and a width of three metres.

During the implementation of the initiative, the Director-General of Community Initiatives in the province Ali Al-Damaji stated that the initiative of paving, construction and expansion of al-Sahl road is in response to the directives of the leader of the revolution, Sayyid Abdulmalik Badruddin Al-Houthi, to activate the community’s role and deploy its energies in community initiatives, facilitate the movement of the people of the region and alleviate their suffering as a result of the rough road.

He stressed the importance of the initiative implemented by the people of al-Sahl region in cooperation with the Central Development Interventions Unit of the Ministry of Finance and the local authority by providing diesel material for equipment, providing camprichnets, charting the route and marking.

The people of al-Sahl region reaffirmed their continued implementation of community initiatives in various areas with the cooperation of the people of the district.

In addition, the members of the Rahba District carried out a community initiative to build and expand al-Kharar Road 14 kilometres long and four metres wide.

The Director of Community Initiatives in the province Ali Al-Damaji stressed the importance of the initiative implemented by Rahba Sons in cooperation with the Central Development Interventions Unit of the Ministry of Finance and Local Authority.

He noted the role of society in supporting the State’s efforts to implement service projects that met the needs and requirements of its members, especially road projects.

The Mobilization Officer of the Directorate of Rahba Ayidh Al-Majash praised the efforts of the people in implementing the service and vital project that will alleviate their living suffering, after being deprived during the past decades. Urging concerted efforts in the implementation of community initiatives and contributing to the process of building and development.

Source: Yemen News Agency