Calls for the fall of Inxeba not yet backed by convincing argument

Kwanele Ndlovu Singles Lane
A scene from the film, 'Inxeba', that has sparked controversy for its portrayal of homosexuality amid the process of initiation. /Supplied
A scene from the film, 'Inxeba', that has sparked controversy for its portrayal of homosexuality amid the process of initiation. /Supplied

A young man holds a placard that reads: "Inxeba Must Fall".

I was convinced that the young man was the voice that the filmmakers had known the movie would evoke; the voice that calls for the healing of those wounded in the process of initiation; the voice that speaks for the silenced homosexual men who are cast aside by their peers and communities.

I had believed that the only inxeba he wanted to see fall was the wound left in men who return from the mountains injured by the prejudices of a society that fails to find room for homosexuality in their concept of manhood.

But alas! He was protesting against the movie in its entirety!

He was standing amid a gang of elders who had marched to shut down cinemas in the Eastern Cape and prevent the screening of the movie.

"We are being embarrassed. It is disgusting and disrespectful of our cultural practices.

"People making love in an initiation school is not something we see," said Prince Tabane.

I found it absurd for anyone of sober thought to stand in denial of sexual activity and abuse on the basis that the said location is sacred. Not in a world where just last week, girls protested at the pulpit against sexual abuse in the church. No!

Consensual sex has known no bounds, and no mountain occupied by two lovers is immune to it.

On Saturday I watched Inxeba.

I refused to base criticism on waves of outrage rippling through social media platforms, at the drop of fiery diction texted by offended men who have not seen the movie.

I watched young boys in the mountain, some nurtured and guided into manhood by closet homosexuals who struggle with their own sexual identity.

It is beautifully shot and deserves all the nominations and accolades it has bagged thus far.

Nakhane is a natural talent. He is godly and draws all sorts of emotions from the viewer.

The two men had more sex than most of us do in a month.

We need to speak about why we are uncomfortable about watching homosexual sex scenes because until then, Inxeba will remain an awkward "date night" movie for new lovers.

Today, I am no wiser about initiation school than I was prior to watching Inxeba. It reveals no "secret".

I still hold the same views about the culture that I have held since I became aware of the deaths, castrations and erectile dysfunction that sometimes result from it.

The initiated men I know are still no better or greater than the men who stride with their foreskin intact and learn manhood from other sources and guardians.

While we yawn and wait for the offended defenders of the secret passage to manhood to forward a convincing argument as to why the movie should have been banned, I will gladly share a recipe for dumplings that requires one cup of flour.

1. Stir together flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Cut in butter until crumbly. Stir in milk to make a soft dough.

2. Drop by spoonfuls into boiling stew. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes without lifting the lid.

3. Serve.

When we are all full, and the outrage has subsided, maybe we will discuss why these men are silent when a circumcised man rapes a woman or a child, or brutalises a gay man.

What with the discipline supposedly instilled at the mountain, these communities should be the safest spaces under the defence and protection of spiritually matured men.

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