John Kani talks black excellence with us

John Kani
Image: Sowetan LIVE

The success of Black Panther has sparked a fire in the hearts of many of its fans and cinema goers alike. A fire that theater legend, Dr. John Kani, has continued to keep alight. With hopes that he would see more movies akin to Black Panther's success, Dr John Kani  shared on the "rebirth" of black excellence as inspired by the movie.

On his role being an inspiration for young South Africans to achieve their goals:

"There needs to be an appetite for black excellence. We have been influential since the diaspora yet faced setbacks in the form of Bantu education and apartheid but continue to fight back."

Kani on the importance of highlighting the African native:

"This means that Africans from all over the world originate here. We can stop thinking about being different. We need the courage not to be threatened and intimidated by radical ideas that might upset the apple cart. Don’t feel you must tow the line of conversation just because you came into the boardroom yesterday and it has been around for 50 years.”

On the stumbling blocks for black excellence:

“We do not read in this country. There is no market for those who write books. You can’t write in an African language because bookshops wont stock them. We need to encourage education which is aligned with employment opportunities. People are leaving institutions with words of congratulations and good luck, but we need to increase the appetite of our people for more knowledge and education. We are the stumbling block to our own success.”

Kani on compromise:

“This must be the foundation of our context. Don’t be prepared to compromise. I had years of unemployment because I would not play a role that calls me a boy, or where a woman or child is abused. I knew I needed one break it came in 1977. So you need to know that it starts with you.”

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