4 lesser known ways apartheid affect John Kani's life

The word thespian is more than the preferred buzzword of your favourite famous faces. The word, which originated in the late 17th century is used to refer to anything relating to drama and the theatre or to an actor or actress.

No one is more befitting of the term than South African actor, Dr. Bonisile John Kani. He was born on November 30, 1942 in New Brighton, South Africa and has had a passion for acting since his days in highschool. Kani has since gone on to star in various stage productions across the world as well as local and international films, including the box office hit, Marvel's Black Panther

Kani is also set to star in the upcoming live action adaptation of one of Disney's most iconic films, The Lion King. Check out these insane facts you may not have know about Dr. Kani. 

  • In 1985, his brother was murdered by police while reading a protest poem over a grave
  • In that same year, he survived an assassination attempt. “I had 11 stab wounds and was left for dead," he told UK publication, The Telegraph. This after he performed in a play called “Miss Julie in Cape Town” and kissed a white woman on stage causing half the audience to leave the premises and the apartheid police to get on his case. 

Dr John Kani on stage in a play
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He lost his left eye to a beating he received from Apartheid Police and wears a glass prosthetic eye. 

According to a 1989 interview with The Washington Post, after appearing in Athol Fugard's anti-apartheid play, "Sizwe Banzi Is Dead," in the U.S. Dr. Kani was lured from his home by a telephone caller who said Kani was wanted at his father's home. On the way there, Kani says he was surrounded by police, who beat him and left him for dead. 


Main image credit: ohmy.disney.com