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John Kani

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John Kani


Mandi Kani

Atandwa Kani

John Kani JohnKhanijpg

30 August 1943 (age 80) (


Notable work
Nothing But the Truth, Sizwe Bansi is Dead and The Island

Nothing but the Truth, The Ghost and the Darkness, Sarafina!, Wild Geese, Coriolanus

Similar People
Winston Ntshona, Athol Fugard, Atandwa Kani, Kenneth Griffith, Stephen Hopkins

Breakfast with Dr. John Kani

Bonisile John Kani (born 30 August 1943) is a South African actor, director and playwright.


John Kani wwwsahistoryorgzasitesdefaultfilesstylesbi

Africa 360 john kani exclusive

Personal life

Kani was born in New Brighton, Eastern Cape, South Africa. His son, Atandwa, is also an actor and made his debut on U.S. television on the CW series Life Is Wild.


John Kani Artistry Promo Bonisile John Kani South African actor director

Kani joined the Serpent Players (a group of actors whose first performance was in the former snake pit of the zoo, hence the name) in Port Elizabeth in 1965 and helped to create many plays that went unpublished but were performed to a resounding reception.

John Kani John Kani Gauteng Tourism Authority

These were followed by the more famous Sizwe Banzi is Dead and The Island, co-written with Athol Fugard and Winston Ntshona, in the early 1970s. He also received an Olivier Award nomination for his role in My Children! My Africa!

John Kani John Kani Wikipedia

Kani's work has been widely performed around the world, including New York, where he and Winston Ntshona won a Tony Award in 1975 for Sizwe Banzi Is Dead and The Island. These two plays were presented in repertory at the Edison Theatre for a total of 52 performances.

John Kani SA deserves better John Kani Cape Times

In 1987 Kani played Othello in a performance of Shakespeare's play in South Africa which was still under apartheid. "At least I'll be able to kiss Desdemona without leaving a smudge." he said then.

Nothing but the Truth (2002) was his debut as sole playwright and was first performed in the Market Theatre in Johannesburg. This play takes place in post-apartheid South Africa and does not concern the conflicts between whites and blacks, but the rift between blacks who stayed in South Africa to fight apartheid, and those who left only to return when the hated regime folded. It won the 2003 Fleur du Cap Awards for best actor and best new South African play. In the same year he was also awarded a special Obie award for his extraordinary contribution to theatre in the United States.

John Kani Struggle activist John Kani is back with Sizwe Banzi Is Dead yazkam

Kani is executive trustee of the John Kani Theatre Foundation, founder and director of the John Kani Theatre Laboratory and chairman of the National Arts Council of SA. He starred as King T'Chaka in the Marvel studios blockbuster Captain America: Civil War and will reprise that role in Black Panther.

In August 2017, Kani had been cast to perform the voice of Rafiki in the 2019 CGI live action remake of The Lion King directed by Jon Favreau.

Other recognition and awards

On 20 February 2010, Kani received Life Time award (SAFTA Awards). Kani has also received the Avanti Hall of Fame Award from the South African film, television and advertising industries, an M-Net Plum award and a Clio award in New York. Other awards include the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation Award for the year 2000 and the Olive Schreiner Prize for 2005. He was voted 51st in the Top 100 Great South Africans in 2004. In 2006, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Cape Town. Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University awarded him an honorary Doctor of Philosophy in 2013.

In 2016 Kani received the national honour of the Order of Ikhamanga in Silver, for his "Excellent contributions to theatre and, through this, the struggle for a non-racial, non-sexist and democratic South Africa".

The main theatre of the Market Theatre complex in Newtown, Johannesburg, has been renamed The John Kani Theatre in his honour.


  • Sizwe Banzi is Dead (1972) (co-authored with Athol Fugard and Winston Ntshona)
  • The Island (1973) (co-authored with Athol Fugard and Winston Ntshona)
  • Statements After an Arrest Under the Immorality Act (co-authored with Athol Fugard and Winston Ntshona)
  • My Children My Africa! (actor)
  • Nothing But the Truth (2002) (sole playwright)
  • The Tempest (2008) (actor in the role of Caliban, at the Baxter Theatre, Cape Town; Courtyard Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon; and tour of Richmond, Leeds, Bath, Nottingham, Sheffield)
  • Film and television

  • The Wild Geese (1978)
  • Marigolds in August (1980)
  • Killing Heat (1981)
  • The Grass Is Singing (1981)
  • "Master Harold"...and the Boys (1985) (TV)
  • Saturday Night at the Palace (1987)
  • An African Dream (1987)
  • Options (1988)
  • A Dry White Season (1989)
  • Othello (1989) (TV)
  • The Native Who Caused All the Trouble (1989)
  • An African Dream (1990)
  • Sarafina! (1992)
  • In Darkest Hollywood: Cinema and Apartheid (1993) (Non-fiction)
  • Soweto Green (1995)
  • The Ghost and the Darkness (1996)
  • Kap der Rache (1997) (TV) (German)
  • Kini and Adams (1997)
  • The Tichborne Claimant (1998)
  • Final Solution (2001)
  • Hillside (2005–2008) (TV series)
  • Silent Witness (Finding Rachel) (2008)
  • Endgame (2009)
  • White Lion (2010)
  • Coriolanus (2011) - Cominius
  • The Suit (2016) - Mr. Maphikela
  • Captain America: Civil War (2016) - T'Chaka
  • Black Panther (2018) - T'Chaka
  • The Lion King (2019) - Rafiki
  • Drama

  • Nothing But the Truth (2002)
  • References

    John Kani Wikipedia