Kaunda Selisho
Lifestyle Journalist
4 minute read
4 Aug 2020
2:06 pm

Close to 100 South Africans were involved in the making of ‘Black is King’

Kaunda Selisho

From glam and wardrobe to technical crew, transport, catering and medical, we counted over 90 South Africans involved in 'Black is King'.

Akin Omotoso,Moonyeen Lee, Gemaén Jordan Taylor, Nambitha Ben-Mazwi and Trevor Stuurman | Images: Instagram

Since before Saturday’s premiere of Black is King, South Africans have been ecstatic about seeing a piece of home in Beyoncé’s latest partnership with Disney.

By Saturday, many were thrilled by the idea that not only were there more South Africans in the film than expected, there were also close to 100 South Africans involved in the production overall.

Some even waited until the credits rolled at the end of the film to spot their names and the names of others.

So, just who are the South Africans who worked on Black is King?

In addition to seeing Nandi Madida on-screen as Nala alongside Nyanyiso Dzedze, Warren Masemola, Connie Chiume and the late Mary Twala, locals were ecstatic to see actresses Nambitha Ben-Mazwi and Lindiwe Dim on screen.

Ben-Mazwi even took to social media to express her excitement at being involved in the project.

Dim also took to her own Instagram page to simply say: “YOU are the Key baby. What a blessing. What a life. What grace. So surreal, I’m so honored to have been part of this. Thank youuu.”

Other South African cast members include Lindiwe Mlaba, Lucky Moletsane, Livers Baloyi, Thando Mabizela and Mpumelelo Moletsane to name a few.

Although he is of Nigerian descent, director and producer Akin Omotoso’s involvement in the film is also a win for South Africa as Omotoso, together with Rethabile Molatelo-Mothibi of Rififi Pictures were responsible for filming and directing some of the film’s scenes that were shot within our country’s borders.

The late Moonyeen Lee’s name also appears in the credits of the film as the legendary casting director was responsible for sourcing and recommending some of the production’s on-screen talent.

Other notable mentions include Trevor Stuurman and his team of assistants who were responsible for some of the film’s styling as well as Gemaén Jordan Taylor, who played a part in the production’s styling as well.

Legendary South African Faith Seuoe is also among those who were part of bringing the film’s many makeup looks to life.


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From glam and wardrobe to technical crew, transport, catering and medical, we counted over 90 South Africans involved in Black is King.

Black is King is a 2020 American musical film and visual album directed, written and executive produced by American singer-songwriter Beyoncé.

The film serves as a visual companion to the 2019 album The Lion King: The Gift, a tie-in album curated by Beyoncé for the 2019 remake of The Lion King.

Though the film has been slated on numerous grounds by ordinary viewers and social media users for heavily featuring Africa and relying on it for subject matter while Beyoncé herself has barely performed on the continent, the film received acclaim from critics, with praise for the production’s direction, the cinematography, score, costume design, subject matter and cultural themes.

Busiswa, Moonchild Sanelly, Bhubele Booi and Anathi “Anatii” Mnyango are also listed on the project as contributors to songs such as My Power, Mood 4 Eva and Brown Skin Girl.

Even Ndaba Thembekile Zweliyajika Mandela got a special thanks in the credits (we just have no idea what for).

All in all, South Africa won when it comes to Black is King.

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