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Ben Themba Silindza

Mafavuke Njengedangamane

Ephehlweni

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Ephehlweni – A University for African healing. Kutfwasa, to be initiated to Devine healing that includes physical healing, spiritual healing and mental healing. So many people are initiated into this high calling these days especially in the townships and most of them end up not able to heal anything. Traditional healers like to recommend that people must be initiated, especially if they fail to heal the person. Most people in the township who goes for initiation (ephehlweni) are spiritually sick and instead of being healed they are told that they must be initiated to be healers and they end up healing nothing as they are sick themselves. Most of the initiators (bogobela) are also spiritually sick themselves and have resolved to making money by initiating (kutfwasisa). I have spoken to several bogobela and find out that some are spiritually and mentally sick themselves. When talking about being mentally sick, i don’t mean a person who is mad. Some of the initiates are physically sick, mentally sick and spiritually sick and they are told that they must be initiated (batfwase) for everything to be fine. Some of them just need mental and spiritual healing not to be initiated (kutfwasa) but they end up being initiated (batfwasiswa). After the initiation (sebaphotfulile) they heal nothing because they are sick themselves. A lot of township people and their ancestors are messed up and don’t even know their true surnames and when they consult they are told to go for initiation (ephehlweni). New sangomas who are very young have simply become initiators (bogobela) because they just want quick cash from the initiates (ematfwasa). This high calling from our ancestors has lost it’s dignity because it has been turned into a money making scheme. Before there were very few healers because this was not a playground for children, it was known to be the highest spiritual calling to heal the body, soul and spirit. A person can be sick in the body because he is sick mentally (soul) a diviner will heal the soul and the body will automatically be healed.
One can also be sick in the body as the manifestation of the sick spirit (spiritually), to heal such a person you must heal the spirit then the body will be automatically healed. Most of all these people who get to be initiated (ephehlweni) daily is the result of sick souls and sick spirits, they don’t need to go for initiation but need healing. In places where there are genuine healers you wont find this thing of so many people going to be sangomas because good sangomas will heal those people mentally and spiritually. For a long time the place of initiation (ephehlweni) was given the same status as a university. Universities were places of studying about the universe thus Universe-city (city mean a place) a place for knowing the universe. A the initiation school (ephehlweni) they were also learning about the universe. These days they go to ephehlweni for 3 months and they think they are then qualified to heal physically, mentally and spiritually. In order to be a great healer one needs to understand the universe. It is highly impossible to understand the universe in three months. The measured available knowledge of the universe in this world is known to be 360 degrees. To master one degree it takes approximate 9 years which it is a PhD (doctorate degree). A doctor has just achieved one of 360 degrees in nine years. Our healers want to be competitive yet they study for 3 months and think they can now heal, that is indeed a joke. Jewish Rabbi, Roman Catholic Priest, Muslim Imam all study for up to nine years  studying the way the universe functions, yet ours think they will be competitive with 3 months learning whilst learning from those who also studied for 3 months. They have taken the same approach of the mushrooming churches, where people wake up in the morning and become pastors with very little or no knowledge of the very same Christianity they are preaching, and we know that such mushrooming is caused by the need to make quick cash from poor people. That is why even after you have finished ephehlweni (uphotfulile) there must still be a continuous learning from your gobela. For most of the good tinyanga and tangoma it takes over 15 years before they qualify to be bogobela. I has taken me so many years to learn about muti but even now I’m still learning.
I have been exposed to western sangomas and other sangomas from other religions, even in the east they studied for so many years to be sangomas yet ours are studying for three months and then claim they can heal. Lets start taking this high calling seriously and stop playing games with the lives of our sick people (spiritual, mental and physical) they need healing from our healers. It is very important for sangoma and inyanga to learn about culture and understand it so that they can be able to advise our people well. Sangomas and tinyanga are perceived to be people of culture, yet these days they are ignorant about culture and end up misleading people. Our healing involves the universe where we need to study the stars, moon, sun, seasons and their impact on spirituality, trees, animals i.e. birds, snakes, sea animals including types of fishes and unseen creatures; all these can take some time to understand. The duration yekutfwasa will also be determined on the spirit you have, though almost all initiates these days associate themselves with Umndawe. When you have been initiated you need to learn continuously and every-so-often feed your spirit emagobongo, use lidvumane, lihlambo and sifutfo for that particular spirit you have. All the spirits have ligobongo, sifutfo and lihlambo as food for that spirit, but for those with Umndawe/Inzuza lidvumane is very important for them to feed it even when baphahla. Those for Inzuza are supposed to be initiated under water but its not easy these days, because going for any initiation will also need a family and families are very ignorant about rituals to be done for those who are initiated under water, they can end up not coming back as some don’t. But we do have bogobela who are trained well to initiate those of Inzuza but they are very few, some claim to know yet they are lying. But I will emphasize again, do not go ephehlweni before you undergo Kufemba and anyone who claims to understand Umndawe or Inzuza yet doesn’t know how to femba is normally telling lies. I know that such statement will offend some bogobela, but its as I say. Umndawe and Inzuza are for Kufemba, you cant claim to know them yet you cannot do kufemba. Most of the time you will have to even learn a little bit of Isindawe and Isindawe songs. Thokoza BoGogo na BoMkhulu. Siyinduna Mapopo Rampane Ndauwe
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