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Ken Gampu (1928 - 2003)

The Order of Ikhamanga in

Ken Gampu (1928 - 2003) Awarded for:
Outstanding achievement in the dramatic arts and film productions.

Profile of Ken Gampu

Ken Gampu was a physical training instructor, a furniture salesman, an interpreter in a lawyer's office, and a policeman, before he received his first role as an actor in 1958.

Having made a success of his debut acting part on stage in Athol Fugard’s first play, No Good Friday, Gampu went on to gain renown for his masterful performances in over 30 local and international productions, including King Solomon's Mines, Wild Geese, Dingaka and A Reasonable Man. He also starred in top theatre productions, like Ipi Tombi and No Good Friday. During a very busy stint in the US from 1968 to 1970, Gampu took part in a poetry reading alongside the likes of Edward G Robinson, Peter Sellers, Mia Farrow, Faye Dunaway and Richard Harris.

Ken Gampu had a successful career spanning 40 years. He worked with some of the greatest names on stage, film and television and became one of the first black South Africans to be featured in Hollywood films.