Thando Mgqolozana

A Man Who Is Not a Man

Thando Mgqolozana brings us a raw, revelatory and heartwarming novel about 18-year-old Lumkile’s journey into manhood, following a spiral of drugs, theft and failing grades.

After Lumkile is arrested for robbery, his estranged mother appears and removes him to the Eastern Cape, where he makes a fresh start—reinventing himself at a new school and falling in love.

When the time comes for Lumkile to enter manhood by undergoing a ritual circumcision, he prepares eagerly for the ceremonies ahead. However, in his makeshift hut on the mountain,
Lumkile realises that something has gone terribly wrong. Having been taught that ‘what happens at the mountain stays at the mountain’ he faces a stark choice: to seek medical help and risk
being forever ostracised and labelled as a ‘failed man’; or to suffer life-changing injuries or even death.

This deftly written novel is one young man’s intimate account of a botched circumcision, and his journey to accept his fate and embrace his future, as he gains a deeper understanding of what it
really means to be a man.
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