Film

Backlash for ‘The Wound’ Intensifies As AmaXhosa King Disapproves of the Film

AmaXhosa king Mpendulo Zwelonke is the latest to express disapproval for the movie.

The Wound, a South African movie by the director William Trengrove which stars singer, author and actor Nakhane Touré has been getting a lot of attention—not all of it positive.


The movie has received good reviews from the likes of the New York Times and won the awards for Best Film and Best Actor at Cinema Jove, the Valencia International Film Festival in July.

Touré and Trengrove also scooped Best Actor and Best Director awards at the Durban International Film Awards in the same month.

But since its trailer was released earlier this year, the movie's received criticism from a large number of AmaXhosa (Xhosa people). A lot of the outrage comes out in the comments section of Toure’s Facebook posts.

“I had prepared myself for a backlash of some sort, but I didn’t know it would be quite this homophobic,” Touré told the Mail & Guardian in March.“I knew it would be cultural and that people would be mad about that, but not this homophobic. I mean, people are swearing at my mom. I’m like 'what did she do?' But I kind of understand why people are mad; why they’re so defensive of their culture. It is, after all, their culture. But it is also my culture.”

The reason for the backlash is some Xhosa men (and some women) feel the movie violates the sacredness of their custom of the initiation into manhood of Xhosa boys. It also doesn’t help that Trengrove is a white man telling a black story. “It is not okay to subjectively delve into traditions and practices you are not a part of under the guise of sparking debate and engagement,” wrote Lwando Xaso and Zukiswa Pikoli in an Op-Ed published on the news website IOL  in March.

There's a petition by some Xhosa students from the University of Witwatersrand that calls for the movie to be boycotted. The second paragraph of the petition reads: “The ritual that this movie is centered around is a secret and sacred thing. What happens in the mountains of kwaXhosa stays there, it is not for public consumption and this ritual has been practiced for as long as time itself. In what we have witnessed on the trailer, the movie is also promoting a false narrative about the Xhosa ritual.”

The petition currently has close to 2,000 signatures and comments agreeing that the movie crossed the line and must be banned. AmaXhosa king Mpendulo Zwelonke is the latest to express disapproval for the movie. He was quoted by TimesLIVE condemning the movie for exposing the custom, which must remain a secret. "But the movie made it public,” he said, “even the very sensitive and secret things. It is insulting to the tradition because it stripped the tradition of its secrecy and sacredness. This will provoke the wrath of ancestors. Attacking and insulting this custom is an attack to our ancestors,” he said.

On the 26th of August, there will be a march in Cape Town protesting the movie under the hashtag #InxebaMustFall. You can view the Facebook page here.

The Wound, which was inspired by Thando Mgqolozananovel's novel, A Man Who’s Not A Man, explores sexuality and challenges the narrow depictions of African masculinity.

You can watch the trailer for The Wound below.

popular

Janet Jackson Returns With Afrobeats-Inspired Song & Video 'Made For Now' Featuring Daddy Yankee

The icon's latest is a nod to the sound, fashion and culture of the diaspora.

Ms. Jackson is back.

The iconic artist returns with her first single since the release of her 2015 album Unbreakable, and it's a timely nod to the "made for now" influence of afrobeats fashion, sound and culture.

On "Made For Now," which features Puerto Rican reggaeton titan Daddy Yankee, Janet Jackson does what she's done successfully so many times throughout her decades-long career: provide an infectious, party-worthy tune that's fun and undeniably easy to dance to. "If you're living for the moment, don't stop," Jackson sings atop production which fuses dancehall, reggaeton and afrobeats.

The New York-shot music video is just as lively, filled with eye-catching diasporic influences, from the wax-print ensembles and beads both Janet and her dancers wear to the choreographed afrobeats-tinged dance numbers, even hitting the Shoki at one point in the video. The train of dancers travel throughout the streets of Brooklyn, taking over apartment buildings and rooftops with spirited moves.

It's obvious that Jackson has been studying and drawing inspiration from the culture for some time now. She even hit the Akwaaba dance, popularized by Mr Eazi, during her Icon Award performance at this year's Billboard Music Awards.

The bouncing video, directed by Dave Meyers, features contributions from a number of creatives from Africa and the diaspora who were involved in the creation of the video, including designer Claude Lavie Kameni and choreographer Omari Mizrahi. Ghanaian health guru, Coach Cass pointed out some of the many dancers involved in the production on Instagram, who hail from Ghana, Nigeria, Trinidad, Grenada and the US.

Ahead of the video's release, it garnered attention on social media when Jackson was spotted filming in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, wearing what many thought was a questionable fashion ensemble. The outfit in question only makes a small appearance in the video, and we're glad to see that Janet's other looks appear, at least slightly, more coordinated.

Watch the music video for "Made for Now" below. The singer is set to perform the song with Daddy Yankee live for the first time tonight on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, so be ready!

Audio

You Need to Hear Juls' New Single 'Saa Ara'


New hip-hop and highlife grooves from the celebrated UK-based Ghanaian producer.

By merging the diverse influence of growing up in Accra and East London, Juls has managed to cultivate a hybrid afrobeats style that has set him apart from the rest.

For his latest single, "Saa Ara," he teams up with award-winning rapper Kwesi Arthur and gifted lyricist Akan.

The brilliant fusion of vintage highlife instrumentals and booming hip-hop beats, along with Kwesi Arthur's lively chorus and Akan's fiery delivery gives the song a very spiritual and classical feel.

Soothe your soul this weekend with these tasteful sounds from Juls.

Listen to "Saa Ara" by Juls featuring Kwesi Arthur and Akan below.

Keep reading... Show less
News Brief

FIFA Refuses To Meet with Nigeria's Sports Minister as Ghana Takes Steps to Avoid Ban

This could jeopardize Nigeria's qualifier against Seychelles in September, while the Ghanaian government has pledged not to dissolve its football association.

In lieu of the ultimatums Nigeria and Ghana's football associations faced from FIFA, one country is on its way to dodge the threat of being banned, while the other is not going down without a fight.

FIFA has refused a proposed meeting with Nigeria's sports minister, Solomon Dalung, to discuss problems in the country's football federation, BBC Sport reports. They say their leadership and the FIFA president is unwilling to meet during the proposed time period.

FIFA is giving the NFF until August 20 for Chris Giwa, who was acknowledged by the courts as the president of the federation, to leave the NFF offices.

Giwa's lawyer Ardzard Habilla asserts that FIFA can't ban Nigeria as the federation's issues need to be sorted out internally by the country's judiciary.

Habilla questions, "Do we take it that FIFA laws are superior to the judgment of the highest court in our land—the Supreme Court, and has FIFA elevated itself before the constitution of Nigeria?"

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

news.

popular.