Loyiso Bala on Inxeba: I haven't seen it & I'm not sure I will

05 February 2018 - 14:23 By Jessica Levitt
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Inxeba has received applause and criticism.
Inxeba has received applause and criticism.
Image: Supplied

Musician Loyiso Bala is standing firm on his stance about controversial film, Inxeba (The Wound), admitting that while he has not watched the film, he did see the trailer and is still convinced that there are Xhosa traditions that should remain sacred.

The film has won 19 awards (so far) and has received global critical acclaim. Back home, however, there has been outrage over the content of the film, which depicts the traditional ritual of ukwaluka – a Xhosa tradition into manhood – as well as sexual identity in the form of a gay love story.

On Saturday Loyiso said he believed the film should be banned as it "ridicules and disrespects the traditions of the Xhosa culture."

He got roasted on social media as supporters of the movie pointed out that there is "nothing new" that has been revealed. It's a sentiment that has been echoed by the writers, producers and stars of Inxeba, who have said that much of the backlash has come from those who have not watched it, and have made a judgement based on the trailer.

"A trailer is a representation of the movie. If you don't like the trailer, there's no reason to watch the movie. And that's my right," Loyiso told TshisaLIVE.

Niza Jay, who plays Kwanda, said many people are making assumptions.

"We didn't make this film for people who watched the trailer and jump to conclusions. It is like a person who looks at windows and think they know the house."

Some cinemas across the country have been shut down as staff at movie houses were threatened if they played it. The actors have also been outspoken about the death threats they have received.

Loyiso did admit that he probably shouldn't have called for the film to be banned, but stands by what he said. 

"Even if there is nothing new, even if we know the things that are in the movie, it doesn't make it right. Our culture doesn't want this stuff to be revealed. Those are the wishes of the Xhosa people."

When it was pointed out that some of the writers who had worked on the film had undergone ukwaluka, Loyiso said that made it worse as those people know that the culture dictates that it should not be spoken about.

Although he still wasn't sure if he would watch the film, he did say he has been doing more reading about it.

As the threats of violence continue, producers of the film have laid a complaint at the Human Rights Commission and Commission of Gender Equality.

Director John Trengrove has accused those of protesting the film of double standards.

Internationally acclaimed South African film ‘Inxeba (The Wound)’ premiered on January 30, 2018. Here’s what South African celebrities had to say about it.

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