Cover Star

Cover Star: South African Actor and Singer, Nakhane

Nakhane is our Cover Star!
The South African actor and musician, recently took the acting prize at the 2017 Durban International Film Festival for his role in ‘The Wound.’ Read our exciting interview with the star.

TRT: What made you decide to want to be a part of The Wound?

NAKHANE: Initially, John Trengove (the director) had asked me if I was interested in composing the score for a film he was making. Of course, I was interested and then I shared with him what my ideas were. A few weeks later he asked me if I would be interested in auditioning for the role of Xolani. Here I was a bit hesitant. He sent me the script. I fell in love with it. I thought it was such an important story, and I also had a personal connection to it, so it really didn’t take much consideration for me. It was something I had to do. I auditioned and months later I was cast.

 

TRT: You were a target online for hate speech after the film started gaining momentum. How were you able to deal with it?

NAKHANE: It depends on the day and how I feel. There are days that I ignore the messages/comments. And there are days when I read every single one. I never respond. I don’t think that anonymous bullies deserve a response. If someone comes up to me and wants to have a respectful conversation about the film and my involvement in it, then I will engage.

Also; I’ve been dealing with this kind of abuse since I was a child. I’ve been called homophobic slurs since I was in primary school. So I’ve had some training in how not to be crushed by it.

 

TRT: What is your perception of how Africans see masculinity and sexuality?

NAKHANE: This is a question that requires an entire thesis in order to engage with it thoroughly. And I always try to be careful not to be callous when answering questions like this. But we know a few things: We have a problem with patriarchy and hyper masculinity in this world. I know that it’s not just Africa’s issue. We also know that we have a serious problem with homophobia and transphobia. And we see that problem manifest itself in horrendous violence. Again, we see this all over the world. These are not issues that are just particular to Africa. But I believe that one should speak about what one knows. I’m an African, so I’ll address Africa.

 

Picture by Tarryn Hatchett

 

TRT: How do you want The Wound to impact the audience after they see it?

NAKHANE: All art should leave the audience with some sort of question and shift in what they believed in before. I didn’t get involved in this film to teach or wag a finger at anyone. I got involved in it because I knew that it would start a conversation. The conversation has started, so let’s have it.

 

TRT: Talk to us about your music? Should we expect something soon?

NAKHANE: Definitely. We are in the final stages of finishing what will be my next album. I can’t give too much away. But something is definitely coming soon.

 

TRT: How do you get inspired?

NAKHANE: By being curious and being open to almost everything. That’s the most simple way that I can answer that question. One never knows what will inspire them. It’s such a random thing. Sometimes it’s boredom, sometimes it’s stimulation. All I know is that my responsibility is to be open, and that’s not always easy.

 

Picture by Tarryn Hatchett

 

TRT: Who are your influences? Music or otherwise.

NAKHANE: I’m just going to list names, and they’re all in different disciplines:
Busi Mhlongo, Marvin Gaye, Jim Chuchu, Marlon T. Riggs, James Baldwin, Zakes Mda, Nina Simone, Joni Mitchell, Can, Stephane Gericault, Prince, Fela Kuti, Brenda Fassie, Wong Kar Wai, Mozart, Handel, Madosini, Ali Farka Toure, Rufus Wainwright, Toni Morrison, Leonard Cohen, David Bowie, Don DeLillo, Virginia Woolf, Noah Baumbach, and so many more

 

TRT: What is your hope for the LGBT community in Africa?

NAKHANE: Freedom

 

TRT: Any other non-music projects we should look out for.

NAKHANE: Not at the moment. I’ve started work on my next novel. But that’s going to take a few years before it becomes something worth talking about.

 

Picture by Tarryn Hatchett

 

TRT: Final words for the fans.

NAKHANE: Keep strong. It can be rough out there. And love abundantly.

 

All pictures of Nakhane used in this post are by Tarryn Hatchett.

Connect with Nakhane on Social Media: nakhaneofficial

 

Watch the Trailer for The Wound here:

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