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John Kani: Winston Ntshona was my brother

John Kani said it was with great sadness that he received the news of the passing of his dearest brother Winston Ntshona on Thursday morning in Port Elizabeth.

Winston Ntshona on 'Sizwe Banzi is dead'. Picture: RuphinCoudyzer/Market Theatre.

JOHANNESBURG - News of the passing of Winston Ntshona has been met with shock and disbelief.

The Market Theatre Foundation says it sadly mourns the passing of the South African legend, Winston Ntshona.

"He was an iconic actor who started his career performing in school plays with Dr John Kani in Port Elizabeth."

Kani says it is with great sadness that he received the news of the passing of his dearest brother Ntshona on Thursday morning.

“To his wife and family, I share your pain. He was my brother.”

He has shared a condolence message from the cast of Netflix’s Murder Mystery comprising Adam Sandler and Jennifer Anniston in Milan, Italy, where he is at the moment.

In 1967, Ntshona joined the Serpent Players drama group, where he continued working with Kani and also collaborated with Athol Fugard.

Their works, Sizwe Banzi is Dead and The Island produced between 1967 and 1972, are remarkable testimonies of South African theatre work that stood up against apartheid.

Both plays were widely performed in South African and internationally.

In 1974 the two plays toured to New York where Ntshona and Kani were awarded the prestigious Tony Award on Broadway for best actors for both plays.

The Market Theatre Foundation added: “Their celebrated works continues to be revived by a younger generation of actors who pay tribute to these legendary masters of South African theatre.”