Albert “Ibokwe” Khoza Biography: Early Life | Education | Career | Achievements | Personal Life | Interests
Albert “Ibokwe” Khoza is a South African actor, performance artist, dancer, and flamboyant sangoma who challenges stereotypes and norms through his work. He has made history as the first male to play a cis-female character on a South African mainstream series, as MaDlamini in Blood Psalms.
Early Life and Education
Albert Silindokuhle Khoza was born on 23 August 1987 in Johannesburg, South Africa. He grew up in the big city and was exposed to different cultures and artistic expressions. He developed a passion for performing arts from a young age and pursued his studies in drama and dance at the University of the Witwatersrand. Albert graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Honours degree in Dramatic Arts in 2012.
Albert “Ibokwe” Khoza Career and Achievements
Khoza is a versatile and talented performer who can act, sing, dance, choreograph, and create original works. He is best known for his role as MaDlamini in the drama series Blood Psalms, where he made history as the first male to play a cis-female character on a South African mainstream series.
His character is the nanny to Princess Zazi but has many secrets and power behind the scenes of the Akachi kingdom. The series is dubbed South Africa’s own Game of Thrones and is based on ancient African mythology.
Khoza is also a theatre performer and has created controversial works that push buttons and question social ills, such as The Red Femicycle. This work was inspired by his experiences as a gay man and a sangoma (traditional healer) who faces discrimination and violence in his society.
He uses his sexuality and traditional practice to express his thoughts by moving between different artistic mediums to outline social ills and what his divergent nature sees and interprets about his world. He critically questions his surroundings, his leaders, and life itself.
Khoza has performed internationally and has collaborated with other artists from different disciplines, such as Oupa Sibeko, Lerato Matolodi, Musa Zwane, and others. He has also received several awards and recognitions for his work, such as the Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Performance Art in 2018.
He was on a studio residency at the Embassy of Foreign Artists in Geneva, Switzerland, from May to June 2023. During the residency, he availed his creative process to his ancient guides, as he has belief in the artistic vision he is asked to manifest by them.
Smoke & Mirrors
Albert “Ibokwe” Khoza is also an actor on the e.tv series Smoke & Mirrors, where he plays Ngcuka, a dark and mysterious inyanga who has come to the town of Emnyameni for a sinister reason. He is closely linked to the unholy trinity, a group of powerful and evil characters who are behind a series of murders and rituals.
He is burly and androgynous looking, with an eccentric dress code and sensibility, unashamedly larger than life with all his beads, amulets and painted nails. He says his role educates people on the difference between a sangoma and a gedla, which is a witch or a wizard.
Albert “Ibokwe” Khoza Personal Life and Interests
Khoza is a proud gay man and a flamboyant sangoma who embraces his identity and culture. He is not afraid to challenge stereotypes and norms that oppress him and others like him. He is also interested in spirituality, philosophy, psychology, history, literature, music, fashion, and art.
Khoza enjoys reading books, watching movies, listening to music, travelling, meditating, and spending time with his friends and family. He is based in Johannesburg but often travels for his work.