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John Kani: South African Actor Who Was Nearly Killed For Kissing White Woman

aisha Published On Tue Jul 28 2020   Modified On Tue Jul 28 2020
John Kani: South African Actor Who Was Nearly Killed For Kissing White Woman

John Kani is an actor, director, producer, and playwright well-known for his works in 'Black Panther' as T'Chaka, 'The Lion King' as Rafiki, 'The Ghost and the Darkness' as Samuel, and 'Murder Mystery' as Colonel Ulenga.

Kani was born on August 30, 1943, in New Brighton, South Africa, and has a star sign of Virgo. Keep swiping down to know more interesting facts about Kani:

Net Worth: $6 million

'Coriolanus' actor John Kani has accumulated a huge net worth of $6 million from his varied career as an actor, director, producer, and playwright. 

Wife: Mandi Kani

Kani is married to Mandi Kani for many years and is living happily married life. The pair are together for decades and are blessed with a child. 

Even after years of togetherness, the love between them is still going strong as John once tweeted a picture together captioning "This is my girlfriend. Mandi Kani".

John Kani with his wife Mandi Kani.
John Kani with his wife Mandi Kani.
Image Source: Daily Sun

Is The Father Of Atandwa Kani

The pair are blessed with a son named Atandwa Kani who is also an actor following his father's footsteps. He was born on June 6, 1984, in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, and completed his MFA in Acting at New York Universities. Atandwa is best known for his work in 'Black Panther', 'The Suit', 'Love By Chance', 'Life is Wild, and so on.

A picture of John Kani son Atandwa Kani.
A picture of John Kani son Atandwa Kani.
Image Source: Alchetron

He was previously married to Thembisa Mdoda for over three years from 2012-2015. Then he remarried Fikile Mthwalo the same year he got separated from Mdoda. 

Started His Career Since 1965

Marius from 'Jail Caesar' started his career since 1965, by joining The Serpent Players where he also helped to create various plays. He also has worked at the various theater in New York like Edison Theatre, Market Theatre, Fugard Theatre, and in the Swan Theatre. 

Since his career started, Kani has acted in various movies, television series, and TV movies like 'Killing Heat', 'A Dry White Season', 'Kini & Adams', 'Final Solution', and others.

Lost His Eye

In 1976, Kani and his co-writer Winston Ntshona performed in their play 'Sizwe Banzi Is Dead' for which they were put in jail for 15 days. The play also led to winning a joint Tony Award in front of all mixed-race audience. In the play, he became the first black actor to kiss a white actress on the South African stage. 

John Kani who lost his prosthetic right eye. 
John Kani who lost his prosthetic right eye. 
Image Source: ZAlebs

After the play, he started to receive various assassination threats where his family and friends were also killed in front of him. Luckily, he survived the murder attempt but the attack left him 11 stabs wound and prosthetic right eye. 

His Brother Was Killed 

After the murder attempt of Kani, his brother was also killed by a police officer in 1985. After the riot caused by the play 'Sizwe Banzi Is Dead', Kani's brother was reciting a poem at a young girl's funeral where he was killed. 

Acted In High Earning Movies

Kani is also part of various successful and big-budget movies like 'Black Panther', 'The Lion King', and 'Captain America: Civil War'. In the movie 'Black Panther' Kani has acted as T'Chaka which also made a huge profit of $1.34 billion from its worldwide collections. Likewise, the movie 'Captain America' made a profit of $1.15 billion while 'The Lion King' made around $1,65 billion. 

John Kani as T'Chaka in 'Black Panther'.
John Kani as T'Chaka in 'Black Panther'.
Image Source: Blog de Superhéroes

Is The Author Of Three Books

'How to Steal 2 Million' actor is also an author and has published three books till now. In 2002, he published his first book 'Nothing But the Truth' which is the story about two brothers. Then in 2015, he published another book named 'Missing: A Play' and 'Apartheid and Othello' in 2016.

Has Been Honored and Won Various Awards

Kani has been honored and won various awards throughout his career. On 20 February 2010, he was awarded by SAFTA Life Time award. Then he was awarded the Avanti Hall of Fame Award from the South African film, television, and advertising industries and also got a Clio award in New York. 

A Picture of John Kani smiling.
Picture of John Kani who has been honored with Various awards.
Image Source: The East African Feed

In 2000, he was honored with the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation Award and was also an honorary doctorate by the University of Cape Town and by the University of the Witwatersrand in 2020.

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