Skip to main content

Mokae, Zakes 1935–

MOKAE, Zakes 1935


Born August 5, 1935, in Johannesburg, South Africa; immigrated to England, 1961, then the United States, 1969. Education: Attended St. Peter's College; studied acting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and British Drama League.

Career: Actor and director. The Rehearsal Room (drama group), cofounder with Athol Fugard (a playwright), c. 1950s; teacher, American Conservatory Theatre, San Francisco, CA; directing fellow, American Film Institute.

Member: British Drama League.

Awards, Honors: Antoinette Perry Award, best actor in a play, 1982, for Master Harold ... and the boys.


Stage Appearances:

Zachariah, Blood Knot, West End production, London, 1961.

(OffBroadway debut) Old African, Boesman and Lena, Circle in the Square, 1969.

Waiter, Fingernails as Blue as Flowers, American Place Theatre, New York City, 1971.

Firs, The Cherry Orchard, New York Shakespeare Festival, Public Theatre, New York City, 1973.

Boesman and Lena, Trinity Square Repertory Company, Providence, RI, 1978.

Steve Daniels, A Lesson from Aloes, Playhouse Theatre, New York City, 19801981.

Boesman and Lena, Yale Repertory Theatre, New Haven, CT, 1980.

An Attempt at Flying, Yale Repertory Theatre, 1980.

Sam, Master Harold ... and the boys, Yale Repertory Theatre, 1981, then Lyceum Theatre, New York City, 1982, later Plaza Theatre, Dallas, TX, 1983.

Zachariah, The Blood Knot, Yale Repertory Theatre, 1985, then John Golden Theatre, New York City, 1986.

M. Gerard de Villefort, The Count of Monte Cristo, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, DC, 1986.

Reverend Zulu, Mr. X, and Itshe, The Song of Jacob Zulu, Plymouth Theatre, New York City, 1993.

Also appeared in Last Days of British Honduras, American Place Theatre; Trial of Vessay, New Dramatists, New York City; Lion and Jewel and Brother Jero, both Inglewood Playhouse, Inglewood, CA; and productions of Othello, Macbeth, Waiting for Godot, Krapp's Last Tape, Tall Maidens, No Good Friday, and The Tempest, all in Europe.

Stage Director:

Directed Boesman and Lena in Canada; Angel Feathers on the Roof in Johannesburg, South Africa; I'm a Come Home Chile in London.

Film Appearances:

Dilemma (also known as A World of Strangers ), 1962.

(Uncredited) Party guest, Darling, Embassy, 1965.

Michel, The Comedians (also known as Les comediens ), MetroGoldwynMayer, 1967.

The River Niger, Cine Artists, 1976.

Wescott, The Island, Universal, 1980.

Committee member, Roar, 1981.

Father Kani, Cry Freedom, Universal, 1987.

Dargent Peytraud, The Serpent and the Rainbow, Universal, 1988.

Stanley Makhaya, A Dry White Season, MetroGoldwynMayer, 1989.

Dr. Banumbra, Gross Anatomy (also known as A Cut Above ), Buena Vista, 1989.

Dr. Chad, Dad, Universal, 1989.

Big Kathy, A Rage in Harlem, Miramax, 1991.

Detective Sawchuck, Body Parts, Paramount, 1991.

Ben Mukuros, Dust Devil, Miramax, 1992.

Himself, In Darkest Hollywood: Cinema and Apartheid, 1993.

Dr. Zeko, Vampire in Brooklyn (also known as Wes Craven's Vampire in Brooklyn ), Paramount, 1995.

Dr. Benjamin Iwabi, Outbreak, Warner Bros., 1995.

Priam, Waterworld, MCA/Universal, 1995.

Sulukim, Krippendorf's Tribe, Buena Vista, 1998.

Also appeared in Tremor; Legends of Fear; Darkest Africa.

Television Appearances; Movies:

Pee Wee Parker, One in a Million: The Ron LeFlore Story (also known as Man of Passion ), CBS, 1978.

Captain Daventry, Agatha Christie's "A Caribbean Mystery " (also known as A Caribbean Mystery ), CBS, 1983.

Pee Wee, Percy & Thunder, TNT, 1993.

Harding, Rise and Walk: The Dennis Byrd Story, Fox, 1994.

Library janitor, Slaughter of Innocents, HBO, 1994.

Television Appearances; Pilots:

Kid Lightning, Parker Kane, NBC, 1990.

Television Appearances; Miniseries:

Roots: The Next Generation, ABC, 1979.

Television Appearances; Specials:

Himself, The 36th Annual Tony Awards, CBS, 1982.

Sam, Master Harold ... and the boys, Showtime, 1984.

Voice of Mr. Bakoosa, The Valiant Little Tailor: An Animated Special from the "Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child " Series, HBO, 2001.

Also appeared as Zachariah, The Blood Knot, BBC.

Television Appearances; Episodic:

Personal assistant, "The Galloping Major," Danger Man, 1964.

Lord Harry, "Murder at Sea: Parts 1 & 2," Starsky and Hutch, ABC, 1976.

Tsombe Kuna, "Goliath: Parts 1 & 2," Knight Rider, NBC, 1983.

Marcus Mpepo, "Dr. Cupid," A Different World, NBC, 1988.

Thomas Mambukwe, "Strangers on a Train," Valerie (also known as The Hogan Family ), NBC, 1989.

Edgar Barkley, "Wager," Law & Order, NBC, 1994.

United Nations dignitary, "The Taking of Pablum 123: Parts 1 & 2," Dream On, HBO, 1994.

Diabria, "Teliko," The XFiles, Fox, 1996.

#98J604 Kipekemie Jarra, "Animal Farm," Oz, HBO, 1998.

#98J604 Kipekemie Jarra, "Escape from Oz," Oz, HBO, 1998.

President Nimbala, "In This White House," The West Wing, NBC, 2000.

Tonday, "Mr. Monk and the Marathon Man," Monk, USA Network, 2002.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Mokae, Zakes 1935–." Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television. . 19 Jan. 2019 <>.

"Mokae, Zakes 1935–." Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television. . (January 19, 2019).

"Mokae, Zakes 1935–." Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television. . Retrieved January 19, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.