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Kani ‘blessed and humbled’ for being honoured with Order of the British Empire

‘I am happy that at least I get to be seen as a South African’

Dr John Kani
Dr John Kani
Image: Veli Nhlapo

Legendary actor and playwright Dr John Kani says he’s honoured to be recognised with the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his lengthy service in the theatre and film industry. 

Kani was announced honorary Officer of the OBE and said when the time was right, he would travel to Buckingham Palace, England, where he would meet His Majesty King Charles. 

“I cannot express how blessed and humbled I feel right now. I have worked with a lot of British actors, both in theatre and movies, who always had this OBE title. I am happy that at least I get to be seen as a South African who should be honoured,” said Kani. 

The OBE is a British honour which is part of the order that the king grants to certain citizens in different genres including business, science, as well as the arts.  

"Mostly in SA, we think about doing our work, how it reaches and makes an impact in our society. We think about entertaining others and even money. One thing the British people work towards always is being recognised. I feel as honoured as I should be and humble at the same time. 

“Now I can sign my name and say ‘Dr John Kani OBE’, he laughed. All these awards come with their own special feeling every time. I have been honoured many times and each time it happens, it’s as if I am a little boy who has just been given a sweet. It is special to me because it is presented by the king [King Charles] himself, there will be a time when we are both available for the king to bestow the honour at Buckingham Place.”

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