NEWS
15/02/2018 10:30 SAST | Updated 15/02/2018 10:35 SAST

'Inxeba' Actor Nakhane On The Pain Of A Queer Xhosa Man

"I sat in my apartment reading the verdict, close to tears, shaking."

Nakhane poses for a portrait at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.
Maarten de Boer via Getty Images
Nakhane poses for a portrait at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.

In a social media statement, "Inxeba (The Wound)" leading man Nakhane expressed his dejection over the controversial Film and Publications Board (FPB) ruling that the movie be rated X18, and revealed his own emotional turmoil as a young queer Xhosa boy.

After the ruling, he admitted: "I sat in my apartment reading the verdict, close to tears, shaking."

"I saw myself as a child; mocked for being effeminate. Afraid for my life as a teenager when I walked past straight men, because I had no idea what they are capable of," he said on Wednesday evening.

"So you'll take us off your cinema's, you'll rip our paintings/photographs off the walls. But we will go anywhere. We will still be here even if you think you have won"– Nakhane

His post also called out the conditional love that queer people face in society.

"I always had something to hide; they hated me. They hated us unless we made them laugh. Unless we did their hair and proved they were good people."

The singer and artist ended his statement with a defiant refusal to live "in shame, for your patriarchy to keep on living".

"So you'll take us off your cinemas, you'll rip our paintings/photographs off the walls. But we will go anywhere. We will still be here, even if you think you have won."

The award-winning film has had its 16LS classification raised to an X18 rating by the FPB – effectively banning it, as it can now only be screened in licensed sex stores – supposedly for "classifiable elements of sex, language, nudity, violence and prejudice". This followed widespread protests against the film traditional leaders, who believe it misrepresents Xhosa initiation schools.