By: Aluta Humbane
As the country was faced with catastrophic rainfall and cold, Uniq Magazine’s Aluta Humbane snuggled with a voice that is both dynamic and creating airways on Ukhozi FM and the Hearts of South Africans.
This bubbly life of the party – and openly gay Diva invited Uniq Magazine SA, into his life, love, philosophy and aspirations.
We caught up with him at the SABC and brought him closer to you, as he answered 10 questions that opens us up to this talented proudly gay radio Dj. Public Speaker and activist.
- In a nutshell – Who is Selby Mkhize? I am Selby Lungisani Mkhize, a fun, energetic, and it may sound kind of cliché but aside from being gay, I am very special, different from anybody else. I live at the edge of the world, and I like it because it has that adrenaline rush. A proud gay man, and a believer. I believe in myself, an advocate for change, and yes… I AM A DIVA.
- Where were you born and Studied? I was born in Amaoti, In Inanda, in a small public hospital Osindisweni. Born and bread there- and I always say to myself, I’ll never leave home until I leave the province, this is because I come from a very small family of not more than 10 members including extended family. Therefore, if one leaves, it becomes unbearable because we are in essence a pillar to one another, my family is very important in my life.
- When did you come out as gay? Or are you gay? like daaah! I AM GAY, I came out as gay immediately after high school, and I can still remember how I was teased – and how that made me very irritated and angry. Therefore I wasn’t comfortable. It was only when I moved to Johannesburg, where no one knew me, I was able to come to some sort of acceptance of the fact that, yes, I love men. And as much as stereotypical ideas exist that Johannesburg makes people gay, for me it was more about the comfort of being accepted, from a strange area. I recall that I was 18, and I didn’t choose this, it somewhat just happened.
- How is your relationship with your family? And what would you say to parents with kids that are struggling to accept their kids whom may identify as gay or lesbian, bisexual, transgender or Intersex – I am a very family orientated person, and we are extremely close, fortunately for me. Like any family, we do have our ups and downs, and my being gay is no exception. Ngiyathethiswa, (I still get scolding if I do wrong) I am taken as uLungisani, ingane yalaykhaya. They are not my fans, they listen to radio, but to them, I am just a child like any boy or girl. The issue about parents not accepting their kids just because of their sexuality is a very sensitive one, because it is not easy, especially with the generation gap. A generation which was previously oppressed and infiltrated with ideas that supersede love and maternal-or paternal love. Deeply imbedded. However, even in past generations, there were homosexuals, it was a taboo, as society played a critical restrictive role on individual expression and choices- especially who one shared a bed with. Having said that, I would advise taking it a step at a time, because, no parent should ever abandone their child. There is no such thing as a ‘SHAME’ more especially if that so called shame is of your birth. It essentially exposes the neglecting or unaccepting parent as a shame to the community and society at large. Bazali, love your child…protect your child, treat them equal. It needs time, and acceptance. Start the process.
- As a gay man how does it feel to be the first – out gay and proud gay – on an international radio station where it is in IsiZulu, thus making it a station which reaches mainly a very rooted cultural and traditional reach of listeners. Whom previously were opposed to homosexuality or talking about it? It is very overwhelming. But I think it was time for change, one thing we can’t run away from- is essentially- CHANGE. And perhaps, the change came at the convenient time. I also feel that as a gay person, had I come out very strongly, clicking fingers and annoying the listeners, or exerting my homosexuality, it might have not been accepted. I didn’t fit into an existing stereotype about sexuality, often premised on ideas of promiscuity, and overt rubbing of a male turning to female. I was in essence, myself – and that is what I think helped. People fell in love with me, my work, then my character, rather than my sexuality. It’s just overwhelming, angazi ngingacaza kanjani, but eh. I would get taxi drivers when on tour in the depth of Kwa-Zulu Natal, those long distance drivers, ababizwa ngamabhinca, bethi “ey ngiyamthanda u Mum Khize” (proclaiming how fond and in love they are with my character- which, am gay) and I always feel like wow. On the other hand, the flamboyant and out butterfly is often not out to cause any harm, often merely enjoying the overwhelming sensation of being unique. They haven’t killed anybody, or stolen anything. Which would beg the reasoning that, sometimes straight people feel uncomfortable about seeing a gay, because they themselves are not comfortable with themselves.
- You have a huge following of people who love you, what do u think makes you so special…. I think Ubuwena, nokuzotha. Being yourself and respecting yourself is of value. As that is how people will see you, often, treat you the same. Love yourself, and this may be a cliché, but have some class, standards on which you base your life on. Principles and strong values. A clear example is, I only go to an event if ngiyosebenza. Or if I get an invite or just want to relax, meet people. And you will never see me drunk, doing things that would disgrace me and my family. Because sometimes. It’s who you are and how you carry yourself in public that matters. You must be a gay with dignity. A gay with pride. A gay with vision and drive.
- As a gay man, when it comes to family… do you perhaps wish for marriage, kids one day? Or you have a different vision. Ofcourse, ofcourse, I would love too. I am in a stable relationship with the most wonderful man, and sometimes we would chat about the future, he wants us to adopt our own child. The challenge would be as a young man of 27 years, I am still very ambitious. Therefore preparations towards settling would be made. Family is very important, and as homosexuals, it doesn’t mean we can’t raise children, It does not mean we must drink and party all our lives. Responsibility is the best teacher. And sharing love with your child is priceless.
- What are your ultimate goals this year? I really would love to get into acting, in fact, I will be shooting a movie soon, I’m not the lead, but I do stir tensions, however I cannot talk about it yet. But I promise Uniq readers will have front row, as time progresses. So yes, this yeah, I have been travelling a lot, my boyfriend is my manager and very focused which in turns fine tunes me towards reaching greater heights. We are not getting any younger, have to work hard and smart, so I can settle down with my boyfriend who shares the same name with my dad, please don’t ask the name. (Chuckles) Part of what we want to do, in my business, is to start a Selby Mkhize Foundation. To give back to the community that raised me. Especially towards developing aid within education sector. Simple things as donating shoes to school children to help pave their future. And with my boyfriend by my side I can conquer anything.
- If there is one thing you would like to say to gay people-especially the youth. What would it be?YES! Can we love ourselves please. We do know sex makes the world go round, but makes your brain go Boof-Boof. Let’s love ourselves. Engage in responsible drinking and remember it’s not only about your image, but also your families’ image that you represent. Asizithande. So that we may be loved. It’s the law of attraction.
- If you had one wish what would it be? I would wish for love. Love in everyone’s heart.
Feel free to send your 10 questions to us at Uniq Magazine SA – and the LGBTI Personality, you would like us to pose those questions to. It’s simple; firstname.lastname@example.org.