He's easily the most celebrated actor in the country.
Playwright Dr John Kani has been awarded the Inaugural Golden Lifetime Achievement Award for his five decades contributed to the arts.
This after veteran playwright, filmmaker, and producer Duma Ndlovu launched the first annual Golden Elephant Awards, to honour those who contributed tirelessly to the theatre and film industry.
The Lifetime Achievement award was awarded to Dr Kani to launch the first award ceremony.
“The Golden Elephant awards were a way to celebrate 30 years of Word of Mouth Pictures. Our first award is being given to the greatest actor South Africa has ever produced, and that is John Kani," Duma says.
Word of Mouth Pictures has created productions such as Muvhango, Soul City 7, Imbewu, Ingozi, Tsietsi Mashinini documentary, Don Mattera: the life of an icon, to name a few.
Honoured to be receiving yet another award, Dr. John Kani said being honoured while he is still alive brings him joy. “For me, it’s about knowing that I left a mark and made a difference in people’s lives. We are all servants and disciples of human rights. What you see on the screens speaks on the rebuilding of the African family structure, the understanding of democracy, nation-building, gender-based violence and Femicide, child abuse, rewriting of the history of black men. That’s what an actor's job is all about.”
He went on to say, “An actor’s job is to bring the writer's vision to life. No matter how small your role maybe’ every episode or scene you are in, ask yourself, what is my doing here? what is my contribution here in the bigger picture?” In his moving speech, Dr. John Kani passionately shared with the audience how “acting and storytelling can never considered merely a job, but a purpose”.
“This is the business of make-believe. You have to choose the work you want to do as an actor and give it a purpose. Stop calling it an industry, it’s a craft. Our job is to contribute to a better society. Even when you have nothing to say in that scene, you are there to amplify by your colleagues.”