South African author Zakes Mda’s 2019 novel The Zulus of New York is set to hit the big screen,

According to Publisher’s Marketplace, television rights to the novel were sold by Mda’s agents to the South African film director and cinematographer Mandla Dube, notable for his work on the Netflix hit Silverton Siege at Pambilimedia.

The Zulus of New York, Mda’s thirtieth published book, and one of his most acclaimed yet, follows a tempestuous love affair between a Zulu dance performer in a traveling circus in 19th century New York City, and a Dinka princess on display in a cage. The novel was published in 2019 by Penguin Random House, South Africa, and received positive reviews.

See a detailed synopsis below:

The Great Farini would stride on to the stage and announce,”‘Ladies and gentlemen, and now for the highlight of the day, the ferocious Zulus.” The impresario Farini introduced Em-Pee and his troupe to his kind of show business, and now they must earn their bread. In 1885 in bustling New York City, they are the performers who know the true Zulu dances, while all around them fraudsters perform silly jigs. Reports on the Anglo-Zulu War portrayed King Cetshwayo as infamous, and audiences in London and New York flock to see his kin. What the gawking spectators don’t know is that Em-Pee once carried nothing but his spear and shield, when he had to flee his king. But amid the city’s squalid vaudeville acts appears a vision that leaves Em-Pee breathless: in a cage in Madison Square Park is Acol, a Dinka princess on display. For Em-Pee, it is love at first sight, though Acol is not free to love anyone back.

Mandla Dube’s film credits include Tsotsi, The Italian Job, Strike Back, Angel Heart, and Umtunzi we Ntaba. His 2016 feature film Kalushi won Best Film of South Africa and Best Original Song at the Rapid Lion Film Festival. It also won the Chairman Award at the Zanzibar International Film Festival.

We can’t wait for the TV show’s release!