John Kani NEVER met Meghan: Who made Mandela comparison?

'She's important in her own life': 'The Lion King' actor John Kani has rubbished rumours he compared Meghan Markle to Nelson Mandela.

John Kani NEVER met Meghan: Who made Mandela comparison?

South African actor John Kani has shut down claims he not only met Meghan Markle, but compared her former president Nelson Mandela.

The Lion King star spoke out following speculation surrounding comments made by the royal.

In an interview with The Cut on Monday 29 August, Meghan claims that a South African cast member of The Lion King pulled her aside at the 2019 London premiere, during which they made the controversial comparison.

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Speaking to MailOnline, John Kani set the record straight on commentary by Meghan Markle

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.

He continued: “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.

“I cannot even tell you now what month she married or what year”.

John Kani disputed claims that South Africans would “celebrate” Meghan Markle’s royal wedding on the same scale as the release of Nelson Mandela. He said: “In my memory, nobody would have known when she got married, when or what. We had no South African link to the wedding or to her marrying Harry.

“I am truly surprised by this. For me it is a non-event, the whole thing”.

The Lion King premiered in Hollywood on 9 July 2019. A week later, the movie had a grand opening in London, attended by Meghan, Prince Harry 

During the premiere, Meghan rubbed shoulders with celebs like Beyonce, Jay Z, Seth Rogen, Elton John, and Pharrell Williams.

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John Kani then offered his thoughts on the comparison likening Meghan Markle’s wedding to the release of struggle hero Nelson Mandela from prison.

He continued: “When the gates of Pollsmoor (Prison) opened, the entire South African nation, the entire African continent, and the world were glued.

“’That was a world event. Surely Miss Meghan or whatever marrying into royalty cannot in any way be spoken in the same breath or even the same sentence as that moment.

“It lives in our memories forever to the world. It is a kind of ‘Where were you when JFK was shot…where were you when Nelson Mandela was released’?. “ou can’t really say where you were when Meghan married Harry.

He added: “I am confused about this. She is an important person in her own life”.


Meanwhile, speculation is rife that music composer Lebo M made the “Mandela comparison” comments to Meghan.

According to John Kani, the only other South African linked to The Lion King production was Lebo M, who collaborated with Hans Zimmer on the soundtrack.

In pictures and clips from the 2019 London premiere, Lebo M is warmly greeting the former duchess.

Lebo M has yet to confirm or deny the allegations.