The ambassador of all things fabulous

Johannesburg -Nakhane is a young bright gem who shows us what it means to follow our dreams, writes Kuli Roberts.

Nakhane, formerly known as Nakhane Touré, continues to take over the world.

The 33-year-old singer recorded and released the autobiographical album You Will Not Die in London in 2018.

Not content with just being another star from Port Elizabeth – actor, South African Music Awards (Sama) winner and novelist – Nakhane is a young bright gem whose debut novel Piggy Boy’s Blues was part of the curriculum at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, US.

Nakhane, born Nakhane Lubabalo Mavuso, studied literature and wrote a book in seven years in-between making music, demonstrating a shining example of what following your dream means.

The happy-go-lucky non-binary and stylish ambassador of all things fabulous came out at the age of 17.

The UK-based artist is inspired by Brenda Fassie and loves designer Rich Mnisi.

Your debut album Brave Confusion, released in 2013, won a Sama for Best Alternative Album, tell us what you are currently working on.

So many things. I’m doing a lot of writing at the moment. A series, a short film, my next novel, some essays here and there. I’m also making some short films for a website. And finally, I’m waiting for my album to finally get released.

What’s your favourite form of expressing your talent given that you are so multi-skilled?

I once went to a psychic who said: “You’re more than just one medium. You’re a creator.”

I really liked that. I love making. The miracle of it.

How one day you have nothing, and then you have something.

Tell us what the inclusion of your book as part of the curriculum in an US college meant for you?

My book, Piggy Boy’s Blues, was published six years ago and it took me about seven years because I was busy with music. My publisher, Blackbird Books, has been celebrating some memories of the book’s accomplishments. One of them being that it was taught at Rhodes College in Memphis.

Did you expect such a high honour from an international institution?

Not at all.

I don’t even know how things like that happen.

Piggy Boy’s Blues was adopted as part of its spring 2017 course in the Contemporary Africa novel category.

What is the book about?

It’s a novel in three parts. First, a young Xhosa man goes back home to rural Alice, Eastern Cape, to live with his uncle.

When he arrives, he realises that his uncle lives with another man.

The older man becomes obsessed with the younger, and it doesn’t end well.

Second, this is the history of how this Xhosa royal family fell from grace.

It’s a story about the mistakes that the young man’s ancestors made that still echo in the present.

Third, the young man travels to Port Elizabeth to heal after a traumatic event that occurred in Alice.

How do you unwind?

Well, this is what I’m working on with my therapist. I’m always on. I love my work, even when it doesn’t seem to love me.

Where are you based?

I live on the countryside, in the northwest of England. Where can we see your next performance? Now that is something I want to know myself.

I really miss performing.

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