Who’s who in the cast of Blood Psalms
In Ancient Africa, five rival tribes come together for a king’s wedding as the end of the world begins. Blood Psalms chronicles the rise to power of Zazi, the teenage heir to the Akachi throne, who must navigate her people through ancient curses, tribal vendettas and the wrath of the gods – while still trying to figure out who she is.
Showmax Original Blood Psalms will be streaming on Showmax from 28 September. The series will kick off with two episodes to binge, followed by an episode every week for the following nine weeks.
Here is your guide to who’s who in the cast of Blood Psalms, and the tribes to which they belong.
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The House of Akachi
Heir to the Akachi throne, Princess Zazi is the daughter of King Letsha and Ndiya Zazi of the Chini tribe. Zazi is the key to a prophecy that says her people will see a disaster happen on her 18th birthday.
Zazi is played by Bokang Phelane.
King Letsha made a blood pact with the God of Magic, Heka. He agreed to kill his wife, Ndiya Zazi, as soon as she had given birth. But the god has tricked him: the magic will return through his daughter, Zazi – but its return will mean the end of his time as king.
Queen Assili of the Uchawi has King Letsha in her power, and she has convinced him that he needs to kill Zazi before she turns 18. As the story of Blood Psalms opens, the five tribes are gathering for King Letsha’s wedding to the daughter of Queen Assili.
King Letsha is played by Mothusi Magano.
Nkamanzu, King Letsha’s uncle, is tired of serving a line of kings. He plots to get rid of the monarchy and rule the Akachi with a council. When the king appears to be going mad, Nkamanzu tries to use the situation to his own advantage.
Nkamanzu is played by veteran actor Sello Maak Ka Ncube.
General Toka – Born Ku’ua, now Akachi
The well-respected general of the Akachi army, Toka is a man of many secrets. Born a Ku’ua, it has taken him many years to gain the trust of the Akachi. However, he has made mistakes that will come back to haunt him.
General Toka is played by Zolisa Xaluva.
Madlamini is the nanny to Princess Zazi, but she has another more secret role as well. More than a servant, Madlamini has a lot of power behind the scenes of the Akachi kingdom.
Madlamini is played by Albert Ibokwe Khoza.
Second in command to General Toka in the Akachi army, Lekoya is loyal to his commander and to the Akachi kingdom. When he discovers that there has been a betrayal, he doesn’t know what to do. This gives Queen Assili the chance to turn him to her side.
Lekoya is played by S’dumo Mtshali.
Captain Ahadi is a brave and loyal soldier, who is sent on a dangerous mission with three other soldiers. He is played by Thabo Rametsi.
The right-hand man to Nkamanzu, Mfengetho is a high priest of the Akachi. He’s also very powerful, with access to many secrets, and works to change things to his advantage behind the scenes.
Mfengetho is played by Warren Masemola.
The Ancient Monarch
The father of King Letsha haunts him as an ever-present ghost. Killed in battle protecting his son, the ancient monarch is not aware that he is, in fact, dead. The Ancient Monarch is played by Sello Motloung.
Ndiya Zazi – Chini, later Akachi Queen
Ndiya Zazi was a Chini servant girl who became the true Magi of the Uchawi order, and then the wife of the Akachi King Letsha. But this didn’t protect her: eighteen years ago, she was brutally sacrificed by her own husband just after she gave birth to her daughter, Zazi. But her spirit remains to guide her daughter through her darkest hours.
Ndiya Zazi is played by Hlubi Mboya.
The House of Uchawi
Queen Assili is ruler of the mystical Uchawi kingdom and current Magi of the order.
Years before, Assili was angered by the God Heka choosing the young servant girl Ndiya Zazi over her to be the Magi. To get of her, she convinced King Letsha to kill her.
As the Magi, Queen Assili can control the elements – but when she can’t bring the rains during a drought, she realises she needs to do something to get her power back. She will do anything to keep her power over King Letsha, including giving him her only daughter, Thozama, to be his bride.
Queen Assili is played by Faith Baloyi.
The son of Queen Assili and Ntuka, Teborah is a teenage prince who hates his mother. At the wedding of his sister to King Letsha, he is not just there to enjoy the party: Teborah has a secret mission from the Serpentine Elementals.
Teborah is played by Niza Jay.
The Emissary to Heka, the God of Magic
The voice of the god Heka on earth, this snake-wielding emissary appears when called up by the Serpentine Elementals as the voice of the god. She will speak to whoever is willing to make a sacrifice to see her – but you won’t always like what she has to say.
The Emissary is played by Thando Thabethe.
The voice of the Serpentine Elementals, the Nymph speaks what the Elementals hear from the Gods. She is played by Khanya Mkangisa.
The Clan of the Ku’ua
The second-born son of Chief Xemantso of the warring Ku’ua tribe, Hlengu wants to return his tribe to their former glory as warriors. But as the younger son, he is not in line to the chiefdom, and is plotting to take the throne from his older brother, Qotha.
Although he is a soldier, Hlengu doesn’t always act with honour. Hlengu is played by Bongile Mantsai.
The heir to the Ku’ua Chiefdom, Qotha is a clever man. His father, the chief, made peace with the Akachi tribe, and he would like to continue the peace. He knows his father prefers his brother, Hlengu, and he struggles to get his tribe to respect him. He is married to Lala.
Qotha is played by Hamilton Dlamini.
The wife of Qotha, Lala is a fierce and brave woman. She wants to be queen – no matter what she has to do to get the crown, and she is worried her husband is not strong enough to take the chiefdom for himself.
Lala is played by Soso Rungqu.
The jolly chief of the Ku’ua clan, Chief Xemantso made peace with King Letsha on the battlefield, and both promised to end war between their tribes. But the Ku’ua are warriors and Xemantso’s son, Hlengu, is plotting to regain their power. The chief enjoys the good life and is friends with King Letsha.
Chief Xemantso is played by Vusi Thanda.
Kuthala is the most powerful warrior of the Ku’ua tribe. Related to Lala, Kuthala is willing to accept a dangerous mission from her, and this fierce female sets off for the Akachi citadel to carry it out.
Kuthala is played by Thishiwe Ziqubu.
The House of Chini
Burutti is an orphan who lives with the underground Chini tribe. She was found by Mother Superior as a baby and given a home. She has strange dreams about another young woman, and senses they are somehow connected. Burutti doesn’t know yet how powerful she really is – or who she is.
Burutti is always at odds with the Chini leader, Overseer Mzinzi, as she wants to free the Chini from hiding underground.
Burutti is played by Mandisa Nduna.
Keeper of the ancient secrets, Mother Superior is the matriarch of the Chini people, who are cursed and hunted and live underground. Mother Superior tries to understand the messages from the gods. She soon realises who the Chosen One is, and knows she must be protected at all costs.
Mother Superior is played by Faniswa Yisa.
The head of the Chini and the son of Mother Superior, Mzinzi is a strong leader who believes in the rules. He often argues with Mother Superior as she lets Burutti get away with risky behaviour. He wants to protect his people – even if that means they have to stay hidden in the cave network they have made their home.
Mzinzi is played by Thembekile Komani.
A child of the Chini and Burutti’s best friend, iLitye knows the underground workings of the Chini cave network the best, as her grandfather created them. Often torn between her loyalty to Mzinzi and to Burutti, iLitye finds herself in trouble when she helps Burutti.
iLitye is played by Awethu Hleli.
The Great Kingdom of Nziwemabwe
Senator Abun Ra Jabari
Senator Jabari is sent from the powerful Great Nziwemabwe to attend the King’s wedding. His real task, though, is to convince the king to give back the Northern Territories. If the king refuses, the Senator plans to use his Golden Army to force him.
The Senator is played by Richard Lukunku.
Sithenjwa – First Akachi, now the Kingdom of Nziwembwe
Sithenjwa returns to the Akachi Citadel after 18 years in hiding. The sister of Ndiya Zazi, she ran away after trying to kill King Letsha. She comes back at the side of Senator Jabari, planning to finally get her revenge.
When she ran away, she left everything, including her baby daughter.
Sithenjwa is played by Zikhona Sodlaka.
Umna – The Order of the Golden Dawn
Disguised as a circus performer hired for the wedding, Umna travels by foot to the wedding with her troupe. Secretly part of the Order of the Golden Dawn, Umna has a mission. Daughter of Madlamini, Umna is fierce and determined.
Umna is played by Enhle Mbali Mlotshwa.
Onyo, The Lord of the Netherworld
Called the Lord of the Netherworld, Onyo is a man of mystery. Not belonging to any tribe, he is captured by the Akachi, and is chosen to be killed. Onyo cares only about his own power, and not about anyone else.
Onyo is played by Siv Ngesi.