John Kani explains cast photo ‘snub’

John Kani
John Kani

Veteran South African actor John Kani has cleared the air on his absence from a cast photo of The Lion King, explaining he was simply away on the day of the shoot.

Social media users were shocked this week when the film’s official Twitter page shared a picture of the cast and both Kani and US actor James Earl Jones were missing.

Kani, who voices Rafiki in the film, has received global accolades and starred in several Hollywood films.

He took to Twitter to calm the masses.

“Please understand that some of these pictures are taken while I am in production in England and could not be available,” he said, in response to a fan’s question.

He later shared his experience ahead of the film’s premiere on Tuesday night, including how airport officials met him at the door of his plane to whisk him to another flight.

“Landed in JFK. Mrs Kani and I were met at the door of the plane by airport officials [and] taken through diplomatic customs desk.

“Quick passport check and then taken to the connecting LA flight for The Lion King red carpet premiere.

“Wow, I am getting used to this sh*t!”

Kani will star as Botswana’s King Khama III in a new Hollywood film titled Let My Country Be.

He joins John Cleese and Stephen Fry on the film about an African king who toured England in 1895 to confront Queen Victoria about his land being stolen.