New Kani play starts in Port Elizabeth

OCTOBER 28, 2014

Missing, the latest theatre production written and starring renowned New Brighton born playwright, John Kani, makes its grand opening at the Port Elizabeth Opera House tonight (October 28th), before concluding on Saturday November 1st. It is also Kani’s first full-length production since 2002’s Nothing but the Truth.

In Missing, Kani portrays the role of Robert Khalipa, an exile ANC member who returns to South Africa after 30 years living in Stockholm, Sweden with his wife, Anna Ohlson (Susan Danford), and daughter, Ayanda (Buhle Ngaba).

Following the release of Nelson Mandela, what started out as a triumph over the apartheid regime, soon evolves into a series of events that threatens to rip the Khalipa’s apart, as Robert is not included in the power transfer negations. Instead, he becomes embroiled in a rivalry with Peter Tshabalala (Appollo Ntshoko), a former ANC colleague who used to serve under him in Stockholm.

Speaking to Rnews at a press conference on Tuesday morning, Kani said that the idea for Missing stems from asking what it really means to be African.

“You look at those who came back after exile and how they re-integrated with society. How much of Africa is actually in them? Is it that Africa part of the memory of their fathers, or what they saw on the BBC, CNN and National Geographic,” Kani said.

“The play also asks what about to those South Africans who married the natives of the country that hosted them? When they married a French woman, Canadian woman or an African-American woman, they spoke of home with the greatest of glory, yet, they never thought of returning.

“By the 1980’s, many believed that Apartheid would continue for another 20 years and then came 1990. Thinking about going home became a reality. People immediately began searching for friends and family. Missing deals with this man’s journey of returning to his troubled homeland and talks about a family torn apart by their love for Africa,” Kani concluded.

Missing sees Kani teaming up once again with director Janice Honeyman and designers Mannie Manim (lighting), Birrie Roux (costumes) and Patrick Curtis (set). Starting time is 19h00 with a 14h00 matinée on Saturday. Ticket are priced from R50-R150 and are available from Computicket.