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Film & Cinematography News South Africa

Dr John Kani made an honorary OBE for his services to drama

South Africa's legendary actor and playwright Dr John Kani has been made an honorary Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) in recognition of his services to drama.
Source: MLS  Dr John Kani has been named an honorary officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in recognition of his services to drama
Source: MLS MLA Dr John Kani has been named an honorary officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in recognition of his services to drama

“I have been honoured many times and each time it happens, it’s as if I am a little boy who has just been given a sweet. It is special to me because it is presented by the king [King Charles] himself," says Kani.

The announcement was made by the British High Commissioner in Pretoria, Antony Phillipson, who called the award an “extremely well-deserved” tribute to Kani’s illustrious 60-year career as an actor, author, director and playwright.

The OBE is a highly esteemed British honour that is granted exclusively by the king to exceptional citizens and non-citizens in various fields, including business, science, and the arts.

It is a recognition that signifies the utmost level of excellence and is reserved only for those who have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to their craft.

Kani’s legacy extends beyond South Africa’s borders, having made his mark in Hollywood, and particularly in British theatre.

Born in 1942 in New Brighton, Gqeberha, Kani got his acting break in 1975, appearing in the anti-apartheid play Sizwe Banzi Is Dead which he co-wrote.

In a career spanning 60 years, with memorable performances in numerous productions, from Kunene and the King to 2019 The Lion King remake, Black Panther and his role T'Chaka, and Colonel Ulenga in the Netflix film Murder Mystery.


John Kani - Showreel - MLA SA from MLA SA on Vimeo.

He has received great acclaim for his work in theatre, film, and television including the Lifetime Achievement Award by the South African Film and Television Awards, an honorary doctorate by the University of Cape Town (206) and the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University appointed him an honorary Doctor of Philosophy in 2013.

He is the first name to be admitted into the Primedia Hall of Fame this year.

He also received the Order of Ikhamanga Silver for his contributions to the theatre during the struggle for a non-racial, non-sexist, and democratic South Africa.

The Department of Sport, Arts and Culture Minister, Zizi Kodwa congratulated him.

“I extend my heartfelt congratulations to Dr John Bonisile Kani for being made an honorary Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. This latest acclaim is a testament to the immeasurable legacy Dr Kani has made to theatre around the world.”

About Danette Breitenbach

Danette Breitenbach is a marketing & media editor at Bizcommunity.com. Previously she freelanced in the marketing and media sector, including for Bizcommunity. She was editor and publisher of AdVantage, the publication that served the marketing, media and advertising industry in southern Africa. She has worked extensively in print media, mainly B2B. She has a Masters in Financial Journalism from Wits.



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