He said Mr. Mandela’s walk to
freedom after 27 years was a ‘landmark moment’ while her marriage to Prince
Harry was ‘no big deal’ in South Africa, adding that the two events ‘cannot be
spoken in the same breath and ‘you can’t really say where you were when Meghan
The bombshell interview in The
Cut suggested Meghan had been told the opposite by a male South African cast
member at the London premiere of the Lion King live-action film held
in 2019. It reported the Duchess as saying: ‘He looked at me, and he’s just
like light. He said, “I just need you to know: When you married into this
family, we rejoiced in the streets the same we did when Mandela was freed from
But Dr. Kani, a veteran of the
Royal Shakespeare Company who voiced the mandrill shaman Rafiki, told
MailOnline that he was the only South African in the Disney movie, has never
met Meghan, and was not at the UK premiere.
He said the only other South
African who was involved was Lebo M, a composer who together with Hans Zimmer
was responsible for the music for The Lion King. But Lebo M was not in the
Sitting under a portrait of
his friend Mr. Mandela at his Johannesburg home, he said: ‘I have never met
Meghan Markle. This seems like something of a faux pas by her. I have I have
never met the Duchess at all. I am the only South African member of the cast
and I did not attend the premiere in London.
‘I went to Hollywood as we
opened there and from there I had to go immediately to Paris where I was
shooting a film sequel, so I couldn’t hang around. The only South African was
me playing Rafiki. But I did not go to the opening in Leicester Square as I
didn’t have the time to do that. It just may be a misremembering on her side.
‘It is baffling me. I am the
only South African in the cast. I play Rafiki, Seth Rogen plays Pumbaa, Donald
Glover plays Simba and Beyonce plays Nala.’
The actor insisted that Harry
and Meghan’s nuptials were ‘no big deal’ in his country, adding: ‘I cannot even
tell you know what month she married or what year’.