Atandwa Kani was born into acting. Son of the famous John Kani, “the grandfather of South African theatre”, he tried to fight it but found himself on the theatrical side of a Wits Honours programme and, eventually, performing alongside Kani Sr and stepping into some of the master’s original roles, most notably in The Island. At 28, Kani is already making a name for himself, winning a Naledi Award for Best Breakthrough Performance by a Newcomer and achieving commercial success abroad in the British television drama Wild at Heart and at home in the SABC’s High Rollers. The critically acclaimed play Hayani, which he co-wrote and starred in, is scheduled for the Market Theatre. The Miser is due in Cape Town and The Island in Grahamstown. His most important role, however, is as father to twin one-year-old boys. Everything he does is directed by them, the heirs to the Kani legacy.

— Rudi Benadé

Twitter: @atandwakani