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