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Digital Subscriptions > Attitude > 291 > Healing the wound

Healing the wound

SOUTH AFRICAN MUSICIAN AND ACTOR NAKHANE DOESN’T SHY AWAY FROM ATTENTION, BE IT GOOD OR BAD. HAVING BURST OUT OF THE CLOSET AND ON TO THE MUSIC SCENE IN 2013, HE’S NOW COURTING CONTROVERSY WITH NEW FILM THE WOUND — A GAY LOVE STORY SET WITHIN AN ANCIENT AFRICAN RITE OF PASSAGE

Singer-songwriter, actor and all-round good egg, Nakhane has a simple request for us all. “A little bit of empathy is all I want from the world,” he says softly, talking about the death threats he’s become accustomed to receiving this year. “It seems to be lacking at the moment.”

Having spent the last couple of hours posing for photos, Nakhane opts to sit on the studio floor for our interview. He’s perfectly content, almost zen-like, while I’m uncomfortably shifting around every few minutes with legs splayed. We have cups of coffee in hand and his Mancunian boyfriend, Chris, is close by. Over the four years they’ve been together, Chris, who lives with Nakhane in Johannesburg and works as a producer for MTV, has become used to occupying himself while Nakhane promotes his music and other projects, quoting Oscar Wilde, James Baldwin, Zadie Smith and other luminaries as he goes.

Early 2018 is looking to be a busy time for the 29-year-old South African. His second album, teased by four-track EP Clairvoyant this September, is due in February, four years since his debut Brave Confusion introduced Nakhane as an experimental, openly-gay, Christian musician. Since then, he’s left the Church and the new album has been written mainly about that experience, and his reconnection with the traditional spirituality of the Xhosa people — a Bantu-ethnic group comprising about eight million South Africans.

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