Change the world

Centre for the Advancement of Non-Racialism and Democracy

Event location: South Campus, Council Chambers

Event date and time: 18/10/2018 17:30:00

Both heartbreaking and uplifting, Becoming Him is a unique story of torture and triumph, bravely opening the lid on cultural shame and abuse against those who choose a path less travelled.

Landa Mabenge’s childhood in Umtata is brutally shattered at the age of 11, when an angry woman and her zombie-like husband unexpectedly arrive and force him to accompany them to Port Elizabeth. Life in PE with ‘The Parents’ soon morphs into a Dickensian nightmare. Landa is subjected to horrific physical, emotional and psychological abuse as he descends into a world of isolation and shame. He recalls his prison of powerlessness.

At 18 Landa is finally able to escape PE to study at UCT, where he tries to embrace life as a butch lesbian, but he remains tortured by his female body. After a close-to-death break down, Landa finally finds strength to embark on an arduous four-year-long journey to physically and legally become ‘him’, relentlessly researching what it will entail to embark on gender alignment.

In 2014, Landa makes history by becoming the first known transgender man in South Africa to successfully motivate a medical aid to pay for his surgeries through the Groote Schuur Transgender Clinic.


Contact information
Miss Nomtha Menye
Graduate Intern
Tel: 0415044674