The Info List - John Kani

Bonisile John Kani
John Kani
(born 30 August 1942) is a South African actor, director and playwright.


1 Personal life 2 Career 3 Other recognition and awards 4 Plays 5 Film and television 6 Drama 7 References 8 External links

Personal life[edit] Kani was born in New Brighton, Eastern Cape, South Africa. [1] His son Atandwa is also an actor and made his debut on U.S. television on the CW series Life Is Wild
Life Is Wild
and played a younger version of his character T'Chaka in Black Panther.[2] After appearing in Athol Fugard's anti-apartheid play, "Sizwe Banzi Is Dead," which he also cowrote, Kani returned to South Africa. There he received a phone call saying that his father wanted to see him. On the way there, Kani says he was surrounded by police, who beat him and left him for dead. His left eye was lost in the incident and he now wears a prosthetic.[3] Career[edit] 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
Port Elizabeth
in 1965 and helped to create many plays that went unpublished but were performed to a resounding reception. These were followed by the more famous Sizwe Banzi is Dead and The Island, co-written with Athol Fugard
Athol Fugard
and Winston Ntshona, in the early 1970s. He also received an Olivier Award nomination for his role in My Children! My Africa! Kani's work has been widely performed around the world, including New York, where he and Winston Ntshona won a Tony Award
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. 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.[4] 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. Kani is executive trustee of the John Kani
John Kani
Theatre Foundation, founder and director of the John Kani
John Kani
Theatre Laboratory and chairman of the National Arts Council of SA. He starred as T'Chaka in the Marvel studios blockbusters Captain America: Civil War and 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
The Lion King
directed by Jon Favreau.[5] Other recognition and awards[edit] 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.[6] Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University awarded him an honorary Doctor of Philosophy in 2013.[7] In 2016 Kani received the national honour of the Order of Ikhamanga
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".[1] The main theatre of the Market Theatre complex in Newtown, Johannesburg, has been renamed The John Kani
John Kani
Theatre in his honour.[8] Plays[edit]

Sizwe Banzi is Dead (1972) (co-authored with Athol Fugard
Athol Fugard
and Winston Ntshona) The Island (1973) (co-authored with Athol Fugard
Athol Fugard
and Winston Ntshona) Statements After an Arrest Under the Immorality Act (co-authored with Athol Fugard
Athol Fugard
and Winston Ntshona) My Children My Africa! (actor) Nothing But the Truth (2002) (sole playwright) The Tempest
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[edit]

The Wild Geese
The Wild Geese
(1978) Marigolds in August (1980) Killing Heat (1981) The Grass Is Singing
The Grass Is Singing
(1981) "Master Harold"...and the Boys
"Master Harold"...and the Boys
(1985) (TV) Saturday Night at the Palace (1987) An African Dream (1987) Options (1988) A Dry White Season
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
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 Inkaba (2013) TV series The Suit (2016) - Mr. Maphikela Captain America: Civil War (2016) - T'Chaka Black Panther (2018) - T'Chaka The Lion King
The Lion King
(2019) - Rafiki


Nothing But the Truth (2002)


^ a b c "Bonisile John Kani
John Kani
(1943 - )". The Presidency. 30 August 1943. Archived from the original on 4 June 2016. Retrieved 2016-05-11.  ^ https://www.timeslive.co.za/tshisa-live/tshisa-live/2018-01-30-john-kani-on-black-panther-premiere-i-knew-we-would-introduce-a-different-african/ ^ Britt, Donna (1989-09-26). "APARTHEID THROUGH AN ANGRY LENS". https://www.washingtonpost.com. Washington Post. Retrieved 2018-04-05. Kani lost his eye when he returned to South Africa after appearing in Athol Fugard's anti-apartheid play, "Sizwe Banzi Is Dead," here and in New York. The actor was lured from his home by a telephone caller who said Kani was wanted at his father's home. On the way there, Kani says he was surrounded by police, who beat him and left him for dead.  External link in website= (help) ^ "[From our archives] 20 bizarre apartheid moments Opinion Analysis M&G". Mg.co.za. 2014-04-26. Retrieved 2016-05-11.  ^ Gonzalez, Umberto; Verhoeven, Beatrice (August 7, 2017). "'Lion King' Rafiki
Casting: John Kani, 'Civil War' Star, to Play Wise Baboon (Exclusive)". TheWrap. Retrieved August 7, 2017.  ^ "Honorary doctorates for June graduation". Electronic Monday Paper. University of Cape Town. 2006-06-12. Retrieved 2006-08-07. [dead link] Vol 25 No 14 ^ "NMMU to honour John Kani". Port Elizabeth
Port Elizabeth
Herald. 2013-04-10. Retrieved 2013-04-17.  ^ "The Main Theatre is renamed to honour Dr. John Kani". Markettheatre.co.za. Archived from the original on 10 June 2016. Retrieved 11 May 2016. 

External links[edit]

John Kani
John Kani
on IMDb

v t e

Tony Award
Tony Award
for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play

José Ferrer
José Ferrer
/ Fredric March
Fredric March
(1947) Henry Fonda
Henry Fonda
/ Paul Kelly / Basil Rathbone
Basil Rathbone
(1948) Rex Harrison
Rex Harrison
(1949) Sidney Blackmer
Sidney Blackmer
(1950) Claude Rains
Claude Rains
(1951) José Ferrer
José Ferrer
(1952) Tom Ewell
Tom Ewell
(1953) David Wayne
David Wayne
(1954) Alfred Lunt
Alfred Lunt
(1955) Paul Muni
Paul Muni
(1956) Fredric March
Fredric March
(1957) Ralph Bellamy
Ralph Bellamy
(1958) Jason Robards, Jr. (1959) Melvyn Douglas
Melvyn Douglas
(1960) Zero Mostel
Zero Mostel
(1961) Paul Scofield
Paul Scofield
(1962) Arthur Hill (1963) Alec Guinness
Alec Guinness
(1964) Walter Matthau
Walter Matthau
(1965) Hal Holbrook
Hal Holbrook
(1966) Paul Rogers (1967) Martin Balsam
Martin Balsam
(1968) James Earl Jones
James Earl Jones
(1969) Fritz Weaver
Fritz Weaver
(1970) Brian Bedford
Brian Bedford
(1971) Cliff Gorman (1972) Alan Bates
Alan Bates
(1973) Michael Moriarty (1974) John Kani
John Kani
and Winston Ntshona (1975) John Wood (1976) Al Pacino
Al Pacino
(1977) Barnard Hughes
Barnard Hughes
(1978) Tom Conti
Tom Conti
(1979) John Rubinstein
John Rubinstein
(1980) Ian McKellen
Ian McKellen
(1981) Roger Rees
Roger Rees
(1982) Harvey Fierstein
Harvey Fierstein
(1983) Jeremy Irons
Jeremy Irons
(1984) Derek Jacobi
Derek Jacobi
(1985) Judd Hirsch
Judd Hirsch
(1986) James Earl Jones
James Earl Jones
(1987) Ron Silver
Ron Silver
(1988) Philip Bosco (1989) Robert Morse
Robert Morse
(1990) Nigel Hawthorne (1991) Judd Hirsch
Judd Hirsch
(1992) Ron Leibman (1993) Stephen Spinella (1994) Ralph Fiennes
Ralph Fiennes
(1995) George Grizzard
George Grizzard
(1996) Christopher Plummer
Christopher Plummer
(1997) Anthony LaPaglia
Anthony LaPaglia
(1998) Brian Dennehy
Brian Dennehy
(1999) Stephen Dillane
Stephen Dillane
(2000) Richard Easton (2001) Alan Bates
Alan Bates
(2002) Brian Dennehy
Brian Dennehy
(2003) Jefferson Mays
Jefferson Mays
(2004) Bill Irwin
Bill Irwin
(2005) Richard Griffiths
Richard Griffiths
(2006) Frank Langella
Frank Langella
(2007) Mark Rylance
Mark Rylance
(2008) Geoffrey Rush
Geoffrey Rush
(2009) Denzel Washington
Denzel Washington
(2010) Mark Rylance
Mark Rylance
(2011) James Corden
James Corden
(2012) Tracy Letts
Tracy Letts
(2013) Bryan Cranston
Bryan Cranston
(2014) Alex Sharp
Alex Sharp
(2015) Frank Langella
Frank Langella
(2016) Kevin Kline
Kevin Kline

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 44391520 LCCN: n87915633 ISNI: 0000 0000 3848 2501 GND: 1100354662 SUDOC: 033538018 BNF: cb124395725 (data) BIBSYS: 90404927 NK