Careful Port Elizabeth – the world and other cities are claiming OUR OWN as theirs – the recently released Black Panther movie stars Bonsile John Kani and son Atandwa – Kani will be known to older residents of New Brighton as “..the son of the old man with the big hat and the big dogs” – see: John Kani encapsulates PE People to a T
Other PEople will recognise the name, John Kani, as one of those adorning a street in Port Elizabeth near the Opera House.
Theatre going Port Elizabethans will remember John Kani for his incredibly rich voice in plays like Missing, So Ry Miss Daisy and Sizwe Bansi is Dead
Celebrate the following facts, PEople:
- New Brighton born, John Kani plays King T’Chaka whilst his son Atandwa stars as Young T’Chaka in the 2018 Disney movie release, Black Panther.
- Black Panther the movie is set in Wakanda, a landlocked country in eastern Africa – home to Earth’s sole supply of vibranium – the world’s strongest metal, which is endowed with a potentially devastating power of its own.
- In Wakanda, Black Panther explores an alternate Africa that was never burdened with colonialism, as well as different layers of African diaspora.
- It was decided early on that isiXhosa, one of the official languages of South Africa, would be the language of Wakanda.
- Former Rhythm City actress Connie Chiume, also stars as a Mining Tribe elder.
“We were waiting for that one time when there would be an African Hero in a comic book story and this is it. Africa is waiting to celebrate their own hero and a hero that is part of the global community fighting for peace, order, stability and human dignity,” said John Kani commenting on the Black Panther movie.
The New Yorker review says; “One of the great virtues and pleasures of Black Panther is its coherent and intricate world-building – it delivers a history of Wakanda that feels less like an exposition than like a discovery.”
The Citizen says; “Black Panther is set to become one of 2018’s biggest blockbusters. From its director to the main cast, white faces are limited.”
The Huffington Post says; “To say that Marvel’s Black Panther is one of this year’s most anticipated films would be an understatement.”
IOL says; “…you are watching a movie that highlights all the best parts of being African, and even gives you hope for an Africa that doesn’t exist today, but could in the future. The movie is an enigma, because not only do you get a variety of complex characters with an enthralling villain, you also have a movie where a majority of the cast and actors on screen are undeniably black.”
John Kani was born on November 30, 1942 in New Brighton, South Africa as Bonsile John Kani. He is an actor and writer, known for Black Panther (2018), Captain America: Civil War (2016) and The Ghost and the Darkness (1996).
Bonsile Kani won Broadway’s 1975 Tony Award, along with his co-star Winston Ntshona, as Best Actor (Dramatic) for “Sizwe Banzi is Dead and The Island.” Kani was also nominated with Ntshona and Athol Fugard as co-authors in the Best Play nomination for the same production.
Winston Ntshona, Athol Fugard and his play, “Size Banzi Is Dead The Island,” on Broadway in New York City was nominated for a 1975 Antoinette Perry (Tony) Award for Best Play.
He and Winston Ntshona were awarded the 1975 Antoinette Perry (Tony) Award for Best Actor for “Sizwe Banzi is Dead the Island,” on Broadway in New York City.
Atandwa ‘Prince of Theatre’ Kani is a Naledi Award winning South African film and theatre actor. He is the son of celebrated South African actor and Tony Award winner John Kani. He made his international stage debut in The Tempest at the Royal Shakespeare Company where he played Ariel alongside his father (Caliban) and Sir Anthony Sher (Prospero). In 2009 he made his international television debut in the CW TV Network show Life is Wild, an American adaptation of the popular ITV drama Wild at Heart which aired in the UK from 2006 to 2012
Atandwa went on to play the young Nelson Mandela in the film Mandela: Long Walk to freedom directed by Justin Chadwick acting alongside Idris Elba (Mandela), Naomi Harris (Winnie Mandela) and Terry Pheto (Evelyn Mase)
In South Africa Kani starred in Kowethu, an SABC 1 drama and featured in international BET series The Book of Negroes where he acted alongside Cuba Gooding Jr (Sam Fraunces) and Aunjanue Ellis (Aminata Diallo)
Kani performed Sizwe Banzi is Dead in New York, directed by John Kani and did a South African tour of the show from 2015 to 2016. In 2016 he starred in a Film adaptation of Can Temba’s book The Suit which won a SAFTA in 2017 for Best Short Film. The Film was part of the 19th Zanzibar International Film Festival and the Urban World Film Festival in New York.
Recently he has been seen on Mzansi Magic’s hit TV Series, It’s Complicated and appears in Marvel’s comic book film Black Panther, alongside his father, playing the young King T’Challa.
He resides in New York with his wife Fikile M Kani.
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