Here is an irony for you; a lot of the people that go around saying how proud they are to be black are the very same
people who are also proud to be Christian. Did you know that in true black culture or traditions there is no Christianity. Just a thought. I know a lot of people who don’t even want you to know that their second name is in English because somehow it’s an embarrassing thing. It’s not a black name and some go as far as saying that it’s colonial and shameful but in the very same breathe the name Jesus is close to their lips.
“Who is Jesus? Was he not part of the very white people’s inheritance that we fight when we say we are proudly African?”
Those are the questions I ask myself when I am in my pro black mode at times and it’s considered rude an impolite to do so. I don’t remember at any point Shaka or Sekhunune running down the mountain with Jesus on their side to defend you against white people who came to exploit us.
+Lungi wake up!”
I think that was my sister’s voice. I was tossing and turning in my sleep but the questions running through my mind were to do with the rights and wrongs of this. That’s what it means to be black and follow our traditions. We are forced to question them. We all say we are proud of them yet we all deny them. Sangoma’s have been in black culture for as long as recorded history can tell but the mere thought of it scares black people. You find them running to their Christian books. I will speak of Zulu people because as Lungile wa ka Mbatha it’s what my people are. Zulu girls proudly wear their traditional dresses whilst their men beat their chests when they say,
“Ngum’ Zulu mina!”
Tell them about Sangoma’s and the next thing they say is,
“Ayikho leyonto! Laba abathakathi!”
Zulu culture all of a sudden becomes an inconvenience when it suits them. That is the thing with the Sangoma thing. For all other purposes I was proudly Zulu. If my mum had allowed it I would have had a memulo but the money was a bit tight. I am very certain when I get married I want my umembeso which is Zulu tradition.
“Lungile wake up!”
My sister’s voice called me out again from the depths of the thoughts I was having. This time I managed to open my eyes and sit up. I had slept again if not fainted after what they had told me had happened at church.
“I feel so tired!”
I told my sister as I sat up. It felt as though I had been running all day the way I was exhausted.
“You need to eat something!”
My aunt said from behind my sister. I had not seen her enter at all. It was only when she mentioned that, that I realized that I was indeed hungry.
“I bought you Nandos. I bought the hot one because it will make you wake up!”
She said. I hated hot food that’s for sure but right now my aunt was the expert. If she had told me to run down the road I would have run down the road without question. I ate in silence. My sister was watching SA Idols on TV but kept on coming to check on me. She did not say anything until the very last time she came.
“You scared me there Lungi. After losing mama so soon I honestly thought I was going to lose you in that moment!”
She said sitting on the bed next to me. I can’t blame her. If I lost my sister right now I don’t think I will survive it.
“I am sorry I scared you. It scared me too.”
I told her managing a weak smile through the tears that had been induced by the Nandos peri peri quarter chicken leg portion. That shit can humble you. The food was so hot but my aunt insisted I should not drink water. I wonder if these ancestors had ever tasted Nandos because this hotness was on another level.
“So what happens next? It’s a serious thing which we need to discuss.”
She said to me changing her tone.
“I think we need to sit with aunty and she will tell us what to do. I don’t know about this either so we need her help.”
I was not sure what my sister’s take on this was because in all honesty this is not a conversation you would have out of the blue with someone. How would it even go?
“Hey you do you want to be sangoma?”
Nope, I don’t think so. That will not work at all.
“But I know the side she will take. She will obviously say be like her so how is that for advice?”
My sister asked as my aunt walked into the room.
“Funny enough I won’t. It’s a decision only she can take and no one else can decide for her. I might be a Sangoma my dear but I am not selfish. Your life does not stop because of it but it does take its toll on you bit by bit!”
She said smiling. If she had taken offense at what my ignorant sister had just said she had not shown it. She hid it well.
“But aunty you can’t possibly want her to be a Sangoma. She is educated and smart and do you really see Lungi doing this for the rest of her life?”
My sister asking incredulously. I think she had made up her mind that my aunt would encourage me to do it but she had not.
“A person can be a Sangoma and have another job. It’s not what you think it is. She won’t be sitting in a hut for hours at an end no. There is a time and place for everything!”
My aunt explained to my sister who was hearing none of it.
“You mean like what happened at church today? Is that the timing you want? We were so embarrassed and I was so scared for Lungi!”
She protested further. My aunt kept her cool. I think she had to field these questions for a long time. We were disturbed by a knock on the door. It was Mam’Dolly. I need to pause here for a moment. The way this woman worked hard to make my mother’s funeral a success honestly she deserves a statue. She loved my mother and I will be eternally grateful.
“I just came to check in on you girls. I heard what happened at church are you ok?”
She asked me sitting down. She had not been a church but I guess people were already starting to talk. Church folks, that’s what they do.
“I am ok.”
I started to say and my sister jumped in and said,
“It was epilepsy!”
“You don’t have to lie to me your mother told me about the calling. My advice if it matters is go get this sorted out soon. You can’t be having episodes like that publicly!”
Mam’Dolly advised. My sister was embarrassed that her lie had been called out immediately. It was rather funny but I did not laugh. The idea to initially keep her in the dark was my moms’ and I think it stemmed from how things had gone down with her own sister.
“I am not staying long. Did you speak to Miriam? She said she had to run somewhere but she has to see you for something important. Do you know what that is?
Her mother asked. Mam’ Dolly and liking things. She wanted to know what the big secret was like I did too.
“No I haven’t even called her today. I will call her tomorrow and find out!”
I told her. I noted how she had not greeted my aunt. I actually had flashback moments and realized that the whole weekend these two had never spoken. When she left I asked my aunt.
“Are you fighting with Mam’Dolly?”
My aunt looked at me and rolled her eyes.
“That woman is lots of work. You must be careful what you say to her. I don’t like her and she doesn’t like me so let’s leave it that!”
She said with a voice full of annoyance. There was more to this story.
“So are not going to tell me what you and Mbilahelo discussed?”
I asked her with a cheesy grin.
“No Lungi, just walk away from this conversation!”
She said laughing. Eish I really wanted to know. It was curiosity. There was another knock on the door about an hour after Mam’Dolly left. With the funeral there had been a lot of comings and goings. I was the closest to the door but my aunt was standing behind me. I opened the door.
Guess who was standing there. My sister’s husband and peeping out I could see that his girlfriend was in the car. Wow. She even stepped to guess what, smoke!
“Une sibindi uyazi! You bring your isingcibilishi sakho here to my mother’s house! Do you have a death wish?”
I wanted to laugh but right now I had to be angry. Isingcibilishi means lizard and because the girl was slightly tall and skinny that’s why she had called her that.
“No it’s not the case. She insisted on coming. Please don’t cause a scene. I came to pay my respects. Your mother liked me and I am sorry things did not go as planned.”
He said I think now realizing that he had miscalculated by bringing her here.
“I don’t think you telling the truth. She insisted on coming with you didn’t she because she didn’t trust your lying cheating ass!”
My sister said and it made sense. Why would he bring his mistress otherwise if she was not checking up on him? That’s what happens when you end up with your mistress! She will never trust you and the strain was even showing on his face.
“Do I bring up what Ezile said?”
My sister said turning to me.
“No don’t. The channels for that will be used. Let them think they won!”
I said looking straight into her husband’s eye. I wanted him to know that we are talking about him but be clueless what we are talking about. That one is killer. You are curious to know what the conversation is about but totally don’t know what it is being said.
“Thank you for receiving me. I will be on my way now!”
He said as he walked away. We were not going to walk him. I wanted to go strangle his girlfriend for the things she had said to my sister but too much had already happened this weekend. I just needed some rest. That will be a fight for another day.
“I hope at sangoma school they teach you how to send a lightening. The first one you can make send it to my husband. Don’t hit him with it no, just hit next to where he will be sitting. I promise you that will give him something to think about for the rest of his life!”
She said cracking a joke her hands folded. She was angry yes but I could see she was smiling again meaning she might be turning a corner.
Please let it be true!
******** The End********
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
Thank you for sharing your amazing talent with us. I love your stories.
I have been dating this guy for almost three years and we have one child,last year we got engaged and he paid half of magadi,however I have been asking him for a long time when he will finish magadi but he always gives me the run around,hed tell me that he spoke to his aunt and his aunt will call my fam to arrange a date but that never materialized,each day he gives me excuses,its always one thing after the other,im so frustrated because i feel like we are just standing in one place and not going anywhere, i feel lyk our relationship has hit a crossroad, is this guy stringing me along?am i wasting my time with him?