The Queen is a must-watch for lovers of South African drama who are looking for a fast-paced show with many twists and turns, and a diverse cast that is able to bring a story to life. The plot of the show revolves around two families who are living the high life as a result of the proceeds from their criminal activities. One of the families, the Khoza family, hide their dealings behind their logistics company. They are however constantly in conflict with their competitors and the Tembisa Police Service who is always on their tale.
The Mzanzi Magic show is produced by Ferguson Films, which is owned by the veteran acting couple; Connie and Shona Ferguson. The duo both have starring roles on the show that premiered in August 2016 and is currently in its fifth season.
Members of the Cast of The Queen
Connie Ferguson made a name for herself in the 1990s when she began starring as Karabo Moroka in the longrunning South African soap opera, Generations. The actress later opted to leave the soapie to explore other career options in 2010, around the same time she and her husband launched the TV company, Ferguson Films. She would, however, return to the popular soapie after four years to reprise her role and relaunch Generations: The Legacy. She eventually left the show permanently in 2016.
Since 2016, Connie has gone ahead to star in The Queen. She plays the role of Harriet Mathapelo Khoza, the smart and assertive matriarch of the Khoza family who loves her children and will do anything to protect them.
Shona Ferguson, who is Connie Ferguson’s husband and co-founder of Ferguson Films, plays the role of Jerry Maake, a police captain at Thembisa Police Station who has been working to bring down the Khoza family. The actor has been a main cast member of The Queen ever since the show his company produces began airing in 2016. Reports, however, have it that he may soon be leaving the show as his character who is famous for having died a couple of times is being phased out.
Other shows and movies Shona Ferguson has appeared in include Generations, Muvhango where he gained fame, Mrs. Mandela, The Wild, The Gift, Isidingo: The Need, and Scandal! among others.
Themba Ndaba is a SAFTA Golden Horn and Africa Movie Academy Award-winning actor. He is famous for appearing in the movie Hopeville, the series Zone 14, and the Hollywood action film, Machine Gun Preacher.
On the Queen series, the Soweto-born actor plays the role of Brutus Khoza, a know-it-all uncle who always wants to be in charge. His character has become a fan favorite as it reminds viewers of that their uncle who always has something to say. The character is so popular that on one occasion when it appeared that he was about to be written off the show, fans took to social media to threaten that they would stop tuning in to watch. Uncle Brutus was reported to have died in an explosion but he eventually made a comeback, seemingly rising from the dead, after four months.
Dineo Langa has been a part of the original cast of the Queen ever since it premiered. For four seasons, she has played the main role of Keabetswe “Kea” Khoza, Connie Ferguson’s character’s daughter. While Dineo and her character have since become a fan favorite, reports emerged in 2020 that she was leaving the show. This happened after she took permission to take time off in order to shoot a film. The soap opera producers confirmed this saying she would not be a part of the upcoming season of the telenovela. They further added that the manner in which Kea would leave would be an important element of the plot and surprise many.
Sthembiso Khoza, who is popularly identified as SK, is an actor and television host. While he is widely recognized for the outstanding work he has done on shows like Goal Diggerz, Mzanzi Ridez, and Vuzu’s TV Entertainment magazine show, his good looks, and excellent acting ability have allowed him to appear in the Mzansi Magic telenovela, iNkaba. In recent times, he can be seen in the Queen where he plays the role of the trigger happy delinquent, Shaka Khoza.
Like a few other members of the cast of the show, SK’s time on the Queen has been rumored to be coming to an end. He’s alleged diva-like behavior has been a problem while allegations of unprofessionalism have been leveled against him. To the surprise of many, however, SK is set to reprise his role as producers in May 2020 announced that Shaka would be returning from the dead.
Fans of the Queen would not have been fortunate enough to watch Loyiso MacDonald do his thing on the screen if he continued to work in the corporate world. Before finding his way to the theatre scene, the actor used to work for a bank and a telecommunications call center. Not finding fulfillment in the job prompted him to re-evaluate his options and so he chose the performing arts.
While Loyiso has appeared in soaps like Isidingo, Intersexions, Zabalza, and Rockville among others, he is better known for his role as Kagiso Khoza, Dineo Langa’s character’s brother on the Queen.
My Name is Zandile Msutwana.
It is 2018 and I still don’t have the right to my image or share in the profits of it’s distribution. This needs to change. That is why I support SAGA’s submission to adopt the Performers Protection Amendment Bill. #SAGAforPPAB #IAmActorSA pic.twitter.com/FuVKK22BYs
— Zandile Msutwana (@zandilemsutwana) September 13, 2018
Zandile Msutwana, who began her acting career while she was at the University of Cape Town completing the requirements to be awarded a Performers Diploma in Speech and Drama degree, is best known for her leading role on the SABC 1 drama series, Society, where she appeared as Akua Yenana. The actress, who has in the past worked with Shona and Connie Ferguson on previous projects by their production company, plays the main role of Vuyiswa Jola-Maake on the show.
Other television credits of Zandile include Home Affairs, Mtunzini.com, Isidingo, Rhythm City, and Soul City. Her film credits include White Wedding where her performance earned her a SAFTA Golden Horn nomination for Best Supporting Actress, The Algiers Murders, and A Small Town Called Descent among others.
Zenande Mfenyana is one of the more recent members of the cast of the Queen. The actress and model, who made a name for herself portraying the character of Noluntu Memela on SABC 1’s Generations, a show she was fired from after she took part in a strike that featured 15 of its cast members, joined the Queen in the second season. She plays the role of Goodness Mabuza.
Other television projects she has notably been a part of include Ashes to Ashes, Igazi, and MTV Shuga (Down South). Her film acting credits include Liefling, Kampterrein, and All About Love.
Rami Chuene plays the role of the colorful character of Gracious Mabuza, or T Gom as she is popularly called. She joined the show after its first season but has since been reported to have left the cast after the end of the fourth season. Her character was killed off following an alleged behind-the-scenes drama with the producers of the series. It was reported that Rami and the Fergusons did not see eye to eye after the actress showed support for another actress that confronted them and wrote an open letter to sports, arts, and culture minister Nathi Mthethwa on exploitation in the industry.
Thembsie Matu is the first of many actors to have been promoted from having a recurring role to a main role in the fourth season of the show. The actress, who made the headlines in 2019 following the death of her husband, joined the cast of the Queen after its first season to play the role of Patronella Zulu, who is popularly called Sis Pat.
Other projects Thembsie has appeared in include The Lab, Tshisa, Rockville, Nomzano, Abo Mzala, and Zone 14 among many others.
Vuyolwethu Ngcukana is an actor, MC, and television presenter who plays the role of Schumacher aka Schumi Schumi on the Queen. In the first season of the show, he had a small recurring role. That changed in the second season as he began featuring more and more and then by the fourth season of the show, his character was promoted to a main role.
Just like his co-star Loyiso MacDonald, Vuyo did not aim to become an actor from the get-go. He first worked as a call center agent, where he says he practiced doing different accents. After deciding to pursue a career in front of the camera, he auditioned for Mzansi Magic productions like The Road and Greed & Desire before landing his Schumacher role.
In the same manner through which Vuyolwethu Ngcukana has been able to land a main role on the Queen, so has Xolani Mayekiso who appears as Thato Maake, a Kasi guy who suffers from a drug problem but is on the verge of getting better. He began appearing on the show after its first season in a recurring role but was later promoted to a main cast role in the fourth season.
The AFDA Cape Town graduate, who speaks Afrikaans, English, isiXhosa, isiZulu, Sesotho, Setswana, and Sepedi, is also a dancer, singer, and voice-over artist. His acting credits so far include the Mzanzi Magic telemovie Izinqumo Esizenzayo (The Decisions We Make), the SABC1 soapie Generations: The Legacy, and the movie Umhlanga.
Nay Maps, who coined the name from a combination of his first name Nkosinathi and surname Maphalala, is one of the more recent members of the cast of the Queen. The actor, who is also a singer/musician and a businessman with his own clothing line Nay Maps Clothing, joined the show in the fourth season to play the role of Dingane Khoza.
Nay Maps gained fame while he was a part of SABC’s Uzalo, playing the role of Mxolisi Zulu. He has further been seen appearing on other shows like SABC 1’s Skeem Saam, a 13-part series called Impilo – The Scam where he played the character of Pacino, an Mzansi Magic film called Unkosikazi Wokuqala as Sizwe, and a small role on Isibaya as Tshepo.
One of my Hobbies is Thinking. pic.twitter.com/fOyiLxO85g
— Sipho Manzini (@siphoManzin) December 9, 2019
There are numerous instances where actors are in real life mistaken to be the kind of person they portray on TV. That happens to be exactly the case with Sipho Manzini who appears as the comical Khoza trucking mechanic Jabulani Zulu aka Mjekejeke on the Queen. His character is that of a simple man who is regularly emasculated by his wife who is portrayed by Thembsie Matu.
The veteran actor, who has had roles in popular SA soaps like Muvhango, Scandal!, and Isibaya has however insisted that he is nothing like the character he plays, adding that he can be very assertive if needs be. While saying so, he mentioned that it is fun to get into character and play someone completely different from who he is, something he says is one of the things that differentiate one actor from another.
Sibusisiwe Jili is best known for her role as the charming and beautiful Zanele in the Mzansi Magic soap opera, Isibaya. After leaving the show, the actress who is also a singer joined the cast of the Queen in the fourth season to play the role of a police officer named Georgina Zulu the eldest daughter of Mjekejeke and Patronella.
Cindy Mahlangu plays the role of Siyanda on the Queen. Her character was first introduced in a recurring role in season 3 but has since been promoted to a main character in the fourth season. Siyanda was famously shot by Zenande Mfenyana’s character on her wedding day.
Awards and Nominations Received By The Cast of The Queen
SAFTA Goldern Horn Best Achievement in Original Score – TV Soap (Nominee)
SAFTA Goldern Horn Best Achievement in Cinematography – TV Soap – Leon Kriel (Nominee)
SAFTA Goldern Horn Best Achievement in Art/Design – TV Soap – Odette Earle (Nominee)
SAFTA Goldern Horn Best Achievement in Scriptwriting – Telenovela – Gwydion Beynon (Nominee)
SAFTA Goldern Horn Best Supporting Actor – Telenovela – Loyiso Macdonald (Winner)