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To look at him, you’d think Nakhane had it all figured out. Writer. Singer. Actor. He can’t be stopped. But his rise to the top has been anything but smooth.

Born in Alice, South Africa and raised in a traditional Christian family, it wasn’t until his mid-20s that Nakhane had the courage to come out and become a proud voice within the LGBTQ+ community.

But in 2017, a role in The Wound, Inxeba in Xhosa, brought back painful reminders of his early struggles. Not only did the film – which shows homosexual relationships and a circumcision ritual – get shut down in his native country, Nakhane received hundreds of death threats.

The backlash to the film was brutal. But Nakhane didn’t let people’s opinions hold him back: "Resilience is like a cork in water; you try and put it down but it’s always going to rise to the top."

Rather than crumble, Nakhane took that negativity and used it to propel his career forward. “There’s no point in being afraid of things you have no control over,” he says. So, he rode out the storm and eventually saw the ban overturned. A victory he always knew would come.

Now with a second album and novel under his belt, he hasn’t stopped. He’s relentless in the pursuit of his art and doesn’t let fear shift his focus.

“You have to believe in yourself before anyone else will believe in you.”


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