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Archive for the ‘Feature’ Category

John Trengove Discusses iBhokhwe, His Film Based on Part of Thando Mgqolozana’s A Man Who Is Not A Man

A Man Who is Not a ManWhile doing research for his short film partially based on Thando Mgqolozana’s A Man Who Is Not a Man, John Trengove learned that there is a belief that traditional circumcision has the power to “cure” homosexuality.

During interviews with gay Xhosa men, Trengrove was told that homosexual initiates are “often neglected or completely abandoned over the period of three weeks, which is supposed to be the healing period after the initiation”. iBhokhwe, his 13-minute film, focuses on a young man abandoned by his elders in a makeshift hut after the ritual.

Sandiso Ngubane of the Mail & Guardian spoke to Trengove about iBhokhwe, which was screened at the Berlinale in Germany last week. Trengove hopes to develop it into a feature film exploring homosexuality and traditional circumcision.

It’s been touted as the first film to explore homosexuality within the context of traditional Xhosa initiation.

IBhokwe: The Goat, screened at the Berlinale in Germany last week, is partially adapted from Thando Mngqolozana’s book A Man Who Is Not a Man. It follows the story of a young man who has been isolated from the other initiates.

Times LIVE reported some of the shocking statistics of botched traditional circumcisions:

Initiates who needed medical attention during the traditional circumcision season were often stigmatised by their communities.

Some men in the Eastern Cape who developed infections refused to go to hospitals and some had parents who prevented them from accessing medical treatment.

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Video: Ashwin Desai Discusses Chatsworth: The Making of a South African Township

ChatsworthAshwin Desai joined Leanne Manas on SABC’s Morning Live to discuss Chatsworth: The Making of a South African Township, which he co-edited. Manas comments that the book includes “an exhilarating mix of voices” that tell the story of Chatsworth, the Indian township in Durban which was created by apartheid era planners.

Desai discusses how the book offers a deeper understanding of the ways in which Chatsworth has changed over the years, as well as looking at the continuity of the area. He mentions aspects such as the expressions of sexuality, and the way in which Pentacostal Christianity has become the fastest growing religion in the area, as examples of these shifts.

Watch the interview and read about Desai’s comments below:

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In 1960, apartheid’s planners created the “Indian” township of Chatsworth, evicting people from established neighbourhoods around Durban and forcibly settling them into a grid of modern racial ghetto.

The book, “Chatsworth: The making of a South African township”, brings together an exhilarating mix of voices that collectively tell the story of Chatsworth’s origins and transformations.

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21 Icons South Africa Features Short Documentary and Portrait of Gcina Mhlophe

Have You Seen Zandile?Gcina Mhlophe has been featured as one of the extraordinary South Africans that filmmaker and photographer Adrian Steirn is profiling with his 21 Icons South Africa project.

Mhlophe explains how she followed her true calling to become a storyteller, after building her career as a performer, director and playwright. She says that people thought something was wrong when she changed paths, but that she has never been happier and is very grateful that she listened to the voice that urged her to tell stories.

Watch the short documentary, see the portrait of Mhlophe and read the essay:

Gcina Mhlophe has many talents. She has won awards as a performer, a director and a playwright, and built the foundations of her career doing those things. But her true gift is storytelling.

She realised this in the late 1980s, just as her career as a performer was peaking. The calling to change direction and become a fulltime storyteller concerned those close to her. “People got worried about me – they thought something was going wrong,” she says. “I wanted to listen to that voice, to answer that calling. And I’ve never been happier. I’m very grateful that I listened to that voice.”

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Video: Pamphilia Hlapa Discusses How Writing A Daughter’s Legacy Helped Her to Deal with Her Past

A Daughter's LegacyPamphilia Hlapa was featured in a recent episode of I Am Woman: Leap of Faith where she discussed how writing her novel A Daughter’s Legacy helped her break the silence about being raped and sexually assaulted when she was younger. The book is written as fiction but deals with the abuse that rural girls are often exposed to.

Watch the video of the episode, in which Hlapa meets presenter Lisa Chait in The Book Lounge in Cape Town to discuss her childhood and the healing she found writing A Daughter’s Legacy.

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Pamphilia Hlapa to Feature in Upcoming Episode of I Am Woman: Leap of Faith

A Daughter's LegacyAn upcoming episode of I Am Woman: Leap of Faith will feature Pamphilia Hlapa, author of A Daughter’s Legacy. The series is presented by Lisa Chait and “features the lives and Leaps of Faith of 52 remarkable women showing how they stepped into brand new territory bravely when faced with life’s greatest challenges and opportunities”.

Hlapa’s episode looks at how writing A Daughter’s Legacy helped her to break the silence about being raped and sexually assaulted when she was younger. Although the book is fictional, it gave her “a space to share her own story and that of her rural sisters”. The episode will air on SABC 3 on Sunday 14 July at 10:30 AM.

Read more about Hlapa’s journey to breaking the silence:

Can you live a full life despite what has happened in your past?

Sexual violence in South Africa features on the national agenda but shocking statistics and horrific attacks continue to come to light. What is not spoken about enough, however, is the protracted, relentless abuse of young women in rural villages where, even more so than in our already abuse-ridden urban spaces, girls are at the mercy of men and boys.

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Percy Zvomuya Interviews Nthikeng Mohlele, Author of Small Things

Small ThingsPercy Zvomuya chatted to Nthikeng Mohlele, author of Small Things, for the Mail & Guardian. Zvomuya mentions JM Coetzee’s “unrestrained praise” of the book, saying that it is easy to see why Coetzee says that, “The prose is rich in texture, the final effect melancholy and comic in equal proportions.”

Zvomuya found out what Mohlele is currently reading, what music he’s enjoying at the moment and other little snippets from his life:

“Behind this story of love, music and the eternal quest, lies an artistic sensibility as generous as it is complex. The prose is rich in texture, the final effect melancholy and comic in equal proportions,” the Nobel ­laureate wrote.

Unrestrained praise, but then, over the past few years, ­Coetzee has been generous in his praise of young South African writers.

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Slideshow: Sabelo Mlangeni and Graeme Reid Examine the Lives of Gay People in Small Towns

How to be a Real GayThe Mail & Guardian has published a multimedia slideshow of Sabelo Mlangeni’s images of gay people in small town South Africa, accompanied by a description of Graeme Reid’s book How to be a Real Gay: Gay Identities in Small-Town South Africa.

The slideshow describes how Reid discusses the ambivalent space that gay people inhabit in the small towns of South Africa:

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Percy Zvomuya Speaks to Siphiwo Mahala About Translating When a Man Cries

Siphiwo Mahala

Yakhalâ�� IndodaWhen a Man CriesSiphiwo Mahala‘s novel of township life and sexual identity, When a Man Cries, was published in isiXhosa as Yakhal’Indoda in 2010.

In an interview with the Mail & Guardian‘s Percy Zvomuya, Mahala revealed how he used write on every possible surface, including toilet paper and funeral programmes, until he finally realised that carrying a notepad was the way to jot down his words when inspiration struck. He also realised that translating his work into isiXhosa would be a benefit to the people he wrote about, and that if he only published in English, their stories would remain inaccessible to them.

Describe your ideal reader

Imaginative individuals who allow words to invade their minds, pene-trate their heart and soul and take them to the highest peaks of ecstasy.

What was the originating idea for translating your debut novel, When a Man Cries, into isiXhosa?

An old lady from my Grahamstown neighbourhood bought a copy of the book and, because she couldn’t read English, she asked her grandchildren to it read for her. And then I thought these are the people I write about and the story remains inaccessible to them because of a language barrier.

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Podcast: Jill Nudelman Discusses Roots and Inheritance with SAfm’s Karabo Kgoleng

Inheriting the EarthSAfm’s Karabo Kgoleng talked to Jill Nudelman about some of the themes that inhabit her debut novel, Inheriting the Earth.

Nudelman and Kgoleng discussed ‘the curse of the phenotype’ and how this relates to a search for roots and identity, and the sense of rootlessness experienced by many white people in South Africa. Nudelman said she felt that people are afraid to talk about race because of apartheid:

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Stephen Coan Speaks to Hlonipha Mokoena About “Forgotten Pioneer”, Magema Fuze

Magema FuzeHlonipha Mokoena speaks to Stephen Coan about the story behind her pioneering biography, Magema Fuze: The Making of a Kholwa Intellectual. Mokoena, who is an assistant professor of Anthropology at Colombia University, says that most people know very little about Fuze, despite the fact that he was the first writer in Zulu.

Magema Fuze is best known as the inhabitant of footnotes: his 1922 book Abantu Abamnyama Lapa Bavela Ngakona (The Black People and Whence They Came) is more referenced than read. But now a new book, Magema Fuze — The Making of a Kholwa Intellectual by Hlonipha Mokoena, has freed Fuze from footnote obscurity, placing him on the front cover of a biography that positions him as a key figure in the intellectual life of this country.

Born around 1840, Fuze was enrolled as a young teenager at Ekukhanyeni School in Bishopstowe, founded by Bishop John W. Colenso. Baptised as a Christian in 1859, Fuze went on to become Colenso’s printer and assistant. In later life he was a prolific contributor — of letters and articles — to newspapers. In his eighties, he published Abantu Abamnyama Lapa Bavela Ngakona, later translated into English and published in 1979 as The Black People and Whence They Came.

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