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television: 2000s

Mokae continued to take professional roles in major series, The West Wing and Monk. 

West Wing logo

The West Wing

The episode In This White House (2.4). Directed by Ken Olin in 2000.  At an AIDS conference Mokae plays President Nimbala of Equatorial Kuhndu. But the president has a potential coup on his hands.  Mokae speaks mostly via interpreter, but sometimes in English.  He returns to his country only to be assassinated in the airport car park.

The episode is highly regarded: "It is one of the best of the best episodes - it avoids both an easy slam of pharmaceutical companies (even though they of course have much to answer for, they are not entirely dens of iniquity), and rosy-tinted or naïve solutions for Africa. Pres Nimbala of the fictional Equatorial Kuhndu is played by the wonderful Zakes Mokae, with real dignity, agony and integrity. The impact of this episode has not diminished since the first time I watched it- and having known friends die of AIDS in E Africa, and seen the tragic cycles of violence and corruption that compound the problems, it is painfully close to the bone. The conclusion of the episode breaks your heart - but is all too realistic. But as ever, the intensity and seriousness is given Shakespearean counterpoint, with the whole sequence of Ainsley Hayes’ drubbing of Sam and her subsequent recruitment". (Mark Meynell at Quaerentia- included with kind permission).

The West Wing with Martin Sheen and Zakes Mokae   The West Wing with Zakes Mokae




happily ever after

The Valiant Little Tailor

Mokae does the voiceover of Mr. Bakoosa in The Valiant Little Tailor, part of the HBO animation Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child.  Written by Daryl Nickens and directed by Bruce W. Smith.  2001.



Monk logo


Mokae appears in the episode Mr. Monk and the Marathon Man. Directed by Adam Davidson in 2002.  A possible murderer has a perfect alibi- he was running in the marathon.  Mokae plays a former marathon runner- did he help the murderer?

Monk with Zakes Mokae   Monk with Zakes Mokae

Mokae appears in African dress and gives his usual affable performance, though in the running scenes it is clear he is no marathon runner.



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