Join the Dean of GIBS, Professor
Nicola Kleyn for a conversation with award-winning South African actor, director
and writer, Dr John Kani.
Kani is the 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 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 remake of The Lion King.
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 (which ran 159 performances) and The Island. These two plays were presented in repertory at the Edison Theatre for a total of 52 performances.
Nothing but the Truth (2002) was his debut as sole playwright and was first performed in the Market Theatre in Johannesburg. Kani's play, Kunene and the King, a co-production for the Royal Shakespeare Company and Fugard Theatre, played in the Swan Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon in 2019 before transferring back to Cape Town.
On 20 February 2010, Kani received the 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 in 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.
A light supper will be served after the event.
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