100 Dr John Kani Quotes

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About Bonisile John Kani

Kani was born on 30 August 1943 in Johannesburg, South Africa, to Bonisile John Kani. Among his most well-known parts are those of T’Chaka in Captain America: Civil War, Rafiki in The Lion King, and Colonel Ulenga in the Netflix original Murder Mystery.

Sizwe Banzi Is Dead

‘Sizwe Banzi Is Dead’ co-writer Kani returned to South Africa in 1975 after starring in the anti-apartheid play. He got a call from his father, informing him he wanted to meet up. He was beaten and left for dead by police when he made his way there. In the aftermath of the attack, he had to have his left eye amputated.

Bonisile John Kani

Sizwe Banzi Is Dead, which Kani and Winston Ntshona won a Tony Award for in 1975, has been performed all over the globe, including in New York City.

In addition to serving as the executive trustee of the John Kani Theatre Foundation, he is also the creator and director of the John Kani Theatre Laboratory.

On February 20, 2010, Kani earned a SAFTA Lifetime Achievement Award. The Avanti Hall of Fame Award was presented to him by the South African film, television, and advertising industries.

After receiving an honorary doctorate from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, he was conferred an honorary doctor of philosophy from the University of Cape Town.

In recognition of his “outstanding contributions to theatre and, through this, the battle for a non-racial, non-sexist, and democratic South Africa, Kani has bestowed the Order of Ikhamanga in Silver in 2016.

John Kani Qoutes

Apartheid is a lie, people can work together, people can create together.

Bonisile John Kani

Stop Saying it hard , just appriciate everything and the wealth you have obained .

Bonisile John Kani

When I’m abroad it’s almost like I’m in a transit lounge. I’m only comfortable when I know the date of departure.

Bonisile John Kani

I couldn’t really say that a repressive society would result in creative art. But somehow it does help, it is an ingredient, it acts as a Catalyst to a man who is committed.

Bonisile John Kani

Know your Value and always do what is importent

Bonisile John Kani

The government harasses everything. The government must keep a constant surveillance of all activities by black people in order to maintain their reign over them, especially when they are in a minority.

Bonisile John Kani

When you write as an artist, you just tell a story and people say it addresses issues.

Bonisile John Kani

You can give me any of Shakespeare’s plays and I’ll tell you a parallel African folktale.

Bonisile John Kani

When I first encountered Shakespeare as a boy, I read every word this man has written. To me, he is like an African storyteller.

Bonisile John Kani

Inkaba’ is about a feud between two South African families. They have been fighting for years, from one generation to the next. It’s like those typical feuds you have in rural KwaZulu-Natal where, after a while, you do not even know why you are fighting.

Bonisile John Kani
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100 dr john kani quotes 4

Every time there is a movie that tells a South African story, it is done by someone who must be taught the right way of pronouncing ‘Sawubona.’ Enough is enough.

Bonisile John Kani

I write about the human condition, as a South African. I sometimes see South Africa with the spectacles of the past and there will then be a political content in my writing.

Bonisile John Kani

I was 51 when I voted for the first time in 1994, and I look at South Africa through those spectacles.

Bonisile John Kani

I had to look at white people as fellow South Africans and fellow partners in building a new South Africa.

Bonisile John Kani

Other theaters exist here solely to entertain the white audience and keep South Africa on a par with what’s going on in the West End or Broadway. The Market concerns itself with theater of this country, for this country.

Bonisile John Kani

Theatre has had a very important role in changing South Africa. There was a time when all other channels of expression were closed that we were able to break the conspiracy of silence, to educate people inside South Africa and the outside world. We became

Bonisile John Kani

My love, my passion, my everything is this continent of Africa. I have always celebrated African humanity.

Bonisile John Kani

‘Sizwe’ is the beginning of protest theatre; ‘Nothing But The Truth’ is post-apartheid South Africa.

Bonisile John Kani

In South Africa, it is different. When you are born not even your father knows what is going to happen in your life.

Bonisile John Kani

And I’m part of the generation of South Africans who feel we’re lucky to be alive.

Bonisile John Kani

All over the world, there is someone sitting in a cell because he or she is not allowed freedom of expression.

Bonisile John Kani

In 1973, ‘Sizwe Banzi is Dead’ and ‘The Island,’ which I co-wrote with Athol Fugard and Winston Ntshona, transferred from The Royal Court Theatre to the Ambassadors Theatre in the West End.

Bonisile John Kani

I used to wonder, when my grandmother would tell me what the wolf said to the jackal, how these animals can talk. And, she would say, ‘in my stories, animals talk. Shut up and listen.’

Bonisile John Kani

When western culture developed, we became detached from nature, detached from our relationship with the animals. We saw animals perhaps as only the rhino horn, the elephant’s tusk, we saw it as making money.

Bonisile John Kani

Our job as artists, we believe, is not to make changes in society. We don’t have the ability to do that. We reflect life. We are the mirror of the society to look into. Our job is to raise questions, but we have no answers.

Bonisile John Kani

I spent 51 years under apartheid. I don’t imagine suffering. I know it.

Bonisile John Kani

In South Africa in 1987, apartheid was still going strong. Some of the most brutal race laws had been relaxed, but they hadn’t yet been repealed. There was still a lot of tension.

Bonisile John Kani

Protest theater has a place again. It’s not against whites or apartheid. It is against injustice and anything that fails our people.

Bonisile John Kani

Before 1994, many South Africans used theater as a voice of protest against the government. But with the end of apartheid, like the artists who watched the fall of the Iron Curtain in Europe, theater had to find new voices and search for new issues.

Bonisile John Kani

If we’d lived in England or America we’d have told stories abut our lives and nobody would have called it protest theatre. But the reality of South Africa was the arrests and detentions and oppression – we could not escape that, so we decided to take it oBonisile John Kani

When the situation politically became intolerable within South Africa, we used the arts as a weapon for change.

Bonisile John Kani

I have been on the Urban Brew board for many years and assisted with the artistic evaluation of the various shows that were pitched to the production company.

Bonisile John Kani

We have to depoliticize our youth. We have to teach our youth that the word ‘government’ means them, it’s something to feel pride in, not something to attack.

Bonisile John Kani

I must concentrate all my efforts in the attainment of freedom for my people.

Bonisile John Kani

It is ridiculous to think we can erase racism in South Africa, but through theater there can be a genuine attempt to move on with our lives and build a better country.

Bonisile John Kani

I have never been attracted to television work. Even to appear in series and soapies. I have always appeared in theatre and major movies, writing plays and other things.

Bonisile John Kani

The exchange rate of the Rand against the dollar, pound or euro makes South Africa an attractive location. The positive side of this is it gives our artists and technicians an opportunity to work.

Bonisile John Kani

We are sort of not at the level of entertainment that the Western world is. Everything we see on the play on the screen, we read, we take seriously. We take that it speaks to me. And so wonderful to see how the Johannesburg, South African audiences will say

Bonisile John Kani

In Australia, I almost became a counselor. At the end of each performance, there would be a queue of sobbing people backstage. They all wanted to explain why they left South Africa.

Bonisile John Kani

We haven’t got those dreams: ‘I wish to become a doctor or a lawyer.’ Black people in South Africa have been barred from doing anything that would articulate their cause.

Bonisile John Kani

Art is universal. When works of art become classics, it is because they transcend geographical boundaries, racial barriers, and time.

Bonisile John Kani

Yes, we have the judiciary and the Constitution, and we’re fighting racism on a daily basis, but these are all state efforts and are not the efforts of the individual. The individual has to commit to change, the individual has to look at the past and take into accountBonisile John Kani

In South Africa, we’ve been watching these movies all our lives – ‘Batman,’ ‘Superman,’ ‘Captain America’ – and every time the mask comes off it’s a white man.

Bonisile John Kani

My grandfather told me our history through his stories about all the great Zulu battles.

Bonisile John Kani

In any character you are given to play, be it evil/good/whatever character, you begin with self. You examine yourself and ruthlessly see similarities between you and the devil, or between you and the dictator, or between you and the kind man.

Bonisile John Kani

What does Macbeth want? What does Shakespeare want? What does Othello want? What does James want? What does Arthur Miller want when he wrote? Those things you incorporate and create in the character, and then you step back and you create it. It always mus

Bonisile John Kani

‘iNkaba’ has made me famous in the living rooms of the people of my country. It was almost like being famous all over again. People stop me in the street and shopping malls to take pictures.

Bonisile John Kani

You found during apartheid a strange occurrence from the white folks themselves. There were those who did make a choice to speak out and stand and be counted in the army of human beings who believed in justice. And then there are those who left.

Bonisile John Kani

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