Dr John Kani receiving the SAWIP Award for Leadership and Service.

We are very pleased to announce that Dr John Kani, legendary South African director, actor and playwright has agreed to serve as a patron of the South Africa-Washington International Program (SAWIP).

Dr Kani is an internationally acclaimed actor, director and playwright and well known for many film and television roles. He co-authored Sizwe Banzi is Dead and The Island, with Athol Fugard and Winston Ntshona and received a Tony award for best actor in both plays. He has acted in a number of notable South African and International plays, including My Children My Africa! for which he was nominated for an Olivier Award. His first debut as sole playwright with Nothing but the Truth received three Fleur de Cap Awards and five Naledi awards, toured in the United States of America and Australia and was turned into a feature film.

In 1989/1990 Dr Kani and Barney Simon established the Market Theatre Laboratory in Johannesburg which runs outreach and community training programmes and stages community festivals.  Dr Kani is currently an executive trustee of the Market Theatre Foundation, director of the Market Theatre Laboratory and chairman of the National Arts Council of South Africa.

Dr Kani has been awarded honorary doctorates by both the University of Durban-Westville and the University of Cape Town. Other recognition includes the ‘Hiroshima Award for Peace’, the Tribute Magazine’s ‘Titan of the Century’ award, the Olive Schreiner Prize, The Order of Ikhamanga in Silver by the South African Government for “Excellent contributions to theatre and, through this, the struggle for a non-racial, non-sexist and democratic South Africa”, a South African Film and Television Lifetime Achievement Award and a special Obie award for his contribution to theatre in the USA.

Dr Kani, a leader and teacher, has used the stage and his writing to make important political commentary throughout his career, critiquing both the Apartheid government and current South African leadership. He has used his masterful storytelling to support and build democracy in South Africa and his vast skills and deep experience to leave a legacy for future generations.

Dr Kani has had a long association with SAWIP, supporting the organisation and being a previous recipient of the SAWIP Leadership and Service Award. We are proud to have Dr Kani join us as a patron of SAWIP.