Atandwa Kani is a South African actor best known for his starring role as Tumelo in the television drama series LIFE IS WILD, in 2007. Born in Port Elizabeth, Kani is no stranger to acting. Upon spending time with his father, Tony Award-winner Dr. John Kani, while reading scripts and attending theatre performances, Kani knew he wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps. Since studying theatrical performance at the University of Witwatersrand, Kani has starred in numerous university productions and appeared in the Heartlines film THE BET. In 2007, he was cast in the American television family drama series LIFE IS WILD, as Tumelo. It was his first series regular role, as well as his debut on American television. He later joined the cast of its UK counterpart, WILD AT HEART. In 2011, he became a series regular on the SABC 2 parliamentary drama series 90 PLEIN STREET, in the role of Jabu Mncube. Kani has gone on to perform in numerous TV productions and films, LONG WALK TO FREEDOM, KOWETHU and IT’S COMPLICATED, to name a few. Kani currently stars in the e.tv telenovela ASHES TO ASHES.
John Kani as Mr. Maphikela
Dr. John Kani is an actor, director and playwright. He was born in New Brighton, Port Elizabeth. As well as acting in SIZWE BANZI IS DEAD and THE ISLAND, John also co-wrote the plays with Athol Fugard and Winston Ntshona. John won the 1974/75 Tony Award for best actor for his performance in the productions. He also received an Obie Award in New York for his contribution to theatre.
His London productions include SIZWE BANZI IS DEAD and THE ISLAND, which won him an Evening Standard Award nomination, as well as WAITING FOR GODOT (Old Vic); MASTER HAROLD… AND THE BOYS (National Theatre); MY CHILDREN! MY AFRICA!, which won him the Laurence Olivier Award, and PLAYLAND (Donmar Warehouse).
John’s film credits include COREOLANIS, THE GHOST AND THE DARKNESS, THE WILD GEESE, THE GRASS IS SINGING, MARIGOLDS IN AUGUST, VICTIMS OF APARTHEID, AN AFRICAN DREAM, OPTION, A DRY WHITE SEASON, SARAFINA and SATURDAY NIGHT AT THE PALACE for which he won a Taormina Golden Award at the Milan International Festival.
In 2005 John received the Order of Ikhamanga from the President of the Republic of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki, recognising his contribution to the struggle for the liberation of his country through his work in the arts. In 2011, John was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to the South African film and television industry at the South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTAs).
Phuthi’s passion for acting was ignited by her involvement in numerous stage plays in school. Whilst studying film-making at Pretoria Technikon’s Motion Picture Academy (now TUT), the oldest film school in South Africa, she interned for M-Net on BIG BROTHER SA. On graduating, she joined the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) as a promo producer, gaining valuable insights into programming and production. In 2005, Phuthi segued into producing at leading media consultancy firm, Eject Media, handling mainly SABC accounts. In 2007, Phuthi produced SES’KHONA for Tswelopele Productions, the team behind such successful South African entertainment and lifestyle shows TOP BILLING and PASELLA. Phuthi also directed inserts for TOP BILLING. After working behind the camera for over eight years as a television producer, Phuthi decided to make the leap into film acting by starring in the award-winning short film CHILD that won the 48 Hour Film Festival in 2011 and was screened at the Cannes International Film Festival.
Driven to gain valuable international acting experience and develop a solid technique, Phuthi moved to New York City in 2012 to study acting. She starred in a string of short films while studying in New York. Her proven talent and skills enabled her to win an acting scholarship and she graduated with a MFA in Film Acting from the New York Film Academy at the institution’s campus on the Universal Studios lot in Los Angeles in 2015. She also wrote and produced a short film THE IN BETWEEN in which she played the lead role.
Since returning home to South Africa, Phuthi played a supporting role in acclaimed director Akin Omotoso’s VAYA THE MOVIE. After playing Matilda in THE SUIT, Phuthi will play a supporting role in the upcoming Mzansi Magic drama DOUBT.