South Africa, South African Interviews

John Kani’s Message


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me + John Kani
me + John Kani

Recently, Tony award-winning South African actor, director and playwright John Kani spoke at Forum in Port Elizabeth. I was blown away with his passion, peace and positive attitude. You could hear a pin drop in the room while he spoke – addressing some of the city’s most successful businessmen.  Here was his message:

+ We need to grasp the magnitude of what we achieved with ending Apartheid and avoiding a civil war in South Africa all those years ago

+ We need to recognize the power of Ubuntu – the African concept of community; “I am because you are”. This deals with the empowerment that comes with unity and working together

+ There’s strength in cultivating a pride about where we all come from. He was born in New Brighton, Port Elizabeth, and still feels happiest when he’s home

+ We should all be having regular “honest coversations with ourselves” about our country and how we speak about it. We must guard against pessimism because we are shaping the next generation

+ Our responsibility to our country is great; we need to leave a legacy of hope, pride and peaceful co-existence

+ Productivity and the choice to make work for ourselves even when there is none is powerful. We need to have a resilient attitude toward life

+ He saluted businesses who are active and prosperous. He highlighted that we need the economy in South Africa to grow and provide jobs for the millions that are jobless. Where there is work, there is hope. Where there is hope, there is no need for crime. We can build our future together

+ He spoke about passion for life, forgiveness of others and unlimited potential

+ He opened up a dialogue with the floor about the arts as a mirror that reflects the state of the people

+ We should all support the arts because it’s a tool for honest discussion and the shaping of opinion in the community. It’s also a way to showcase truth at its core

+ The arts can be used as a means of communicating political ideas and educating the public at large in the only way that speaks to the human soul

On the 10th of June 2014 the Main Theatre of the Market Theatre in Newtown, Johannesburg, was officially renamed The John Kani Theatre.

John Kani Theatre
John Kani at the opening of the theatre

John Kani Theatre John Kani Theatre

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