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Ben Themba Silindza

Mafavuke Njengedangamane

Sibaya

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SIBAYA – Among the five important things that makes a home Sibaya is one of the most important. Though it is now forgotten maybe because of the conditions that we are living under since colonization. These days umsamo is the only talk of the moment and some healers have even capitalised on umsamo moving around saying they fix umsamo for people in which most of the time that is not true and not possible unless if they talk about these nowadays bedroom imisamo. People are charged exorbitant amount by people who claim they fix umsamo. No matter how umsamo is the talk of the moment, but unfortunately most people still don’t know umsamo and what they normally call umsamo is not umsamo at all, its something else. The truth is that you cannot talk about umsamo without talking about sibaya. In Africa everything goes two by two nothing goes single there is always a positive energy and a negative energy for a good flow of things. But we are living in the world that promotes being single that’s why they promote umsamo purposely neglecting sibaya yet umsamo cannot work without sibaya. Just as a woman cannot produce a baby alone, same as a man cannot produce a baby alone. So umsamo cannot work alone same as sibaya cannot work alone, umsamo needs sibaya just as sibaya needs umsamo. That is why we have gogo and mkhulu, inkhosi and inkhosikati also inkhosana ne nkhosatane. So we have umsamo and sibaya neither one of the two can stand without the other.
I know the situation that we are living under especially in the townships but I can’t deceive people because of the situation that we find ourselves in because of colonization. Umsamo is the feminine part of the holy place at home and sibaya is the masculine part of the sanctuary at home and the two compliments one another they work hand in hand. All these are supposed to be available at home and be purified for a good spiritual breakthrough. Those who go around claiming to be fixing umsamo for people have forgotten that umsamo goes with isibaya, one cannot be fixed without the other. Unfortunately most of those people have never set their foot in a proper umsamo and sibaya even the umsamo they claim they set up they’ve learned about on the radio, tv or on the internet, they have never been to real umsamo.  Umsamo is a holy place only few are allowed to speak emsamo same even esibayeni. We have no equivalent name in English for umsamo or isibaya. Some might say isibaya is a kraal but a kraal is just a place for cows but isibaya is far more than that in our spirituality. One of the most important things is that not everyone even in the family has a right to talk emsamo or esibayeni, even entering those holy places is reserved for specific individuals. I have said this before and i will say it again and again to be inyanga or sangoma does not give anyone authority to speak emsamo or esibayeni for other people. Even in your own family to be inyanga or sangoma does not gives you the right to be the one who speaks for your own family emsamo or esibayeni unless you were qualified to do such by lutalo/uzalo or your birth right.
Inyanga or sangoma can only devine and give you a direction of what is needed to fix umsamo or sibaya. Umsamo is more for boGogo and sibaya is for boMkhulu. There aboGogo spirit dwells emasamo whilst boMkhulu spirit dwells esibayeni they don’t dwell together at emsamo as other people are thinking these days. For these reasons we cannot only talk about the dwelling place at home for boGogo and neglect the dwelling place for boMkhulu. We have to call upon those spirits in a right place when we build umsamo for boGogo, we need to also build isibaya for boMkhulu. Umsamo is right at the Centre of a home whereas Isibaya is a bit outside a home. The heart of a woman is right at the center of the home but a man is not home centered. Home belongs to women not man. Those who are fixing umsamo for people must also fix isibaya because you cannot do the one and neglect the other, the other cannot stand without the one. We cannot afford to embrace only the feminine part of our spirituality whiles neglecting the masculine energy. We cannot only call upon bo Gogo and reject boMkhulu just as we cannot only have umsamo without isibaya as the two compliments one another. In Swaziland when there is a very important announcement or issues that trouble the nation they gather esibayeni to address such important issues. Important ceremonies are also done esibayeni especially that deals with the spirituality of the Nation. Umsamo is mostly used by boGogo to speak to other boGogo but men are supposed to talk esibaya more than umsamo. A man without isibaya is a naked man he must not rest till he have isibaya. When things are not going well ekhaya umnumzame has to wear a coat (Lijazi) and go to esibayeni to speak to boMkhulu. He does not go to emsamo to speak but esibayeni. That’s why a man is a man with isibaya without isibaya he is not a complete man spiritually because when troubles come he needs to go to esibayeni where there is boMkhulu and speak not emsamo kubo gogo.
There are times where he can come to emsamo but he must know that his place is isibaya. Maybe because these days’ people are crazy about being single and independent that might be a reason they are emphasizing only one single part of spirituality which is emsamo. They are not aware that neither isibaya nor umsamo can be established by a single man or single woman such is only for those who either have a wife or husband. Single woman and single man cannot establish anything after all that’s why when they are dead they become ingwendze(lidloti/spirit) and come back to trouble their children. That is the reason we have so many people being sangomas and tinyanga because most people are dying single. Dying single is not something good in our spirituality, cows are very important in the Ntu. They stay esibayeni where also the spirit of amakhehla stays. Cows provide us with milk, meat, fertilizer, ploughing, cultivating, emalobolo, inhlawulo etc. Cows are everything to us Bantu. Money cannot be equal to cows. Amakhehla stays and looks after the cows esibayeni because cows are our treasure. Remember isibaya is a holy place where not everyone has a right to enter isibaya and even speak there. Isibaya is build by men n boys only because woman might be in her ways (periods) and defile that holy place which is isibaya, remember that even emsamo women are not supposed to enter there during their cycle because umsamo is also a holy place. Gogo has passed that stage that is why she is the qualified administrator of umsamo she can stay and even sleep there, but i’m not saying that she can sleep with mkhulu there. That is why umsamo cannot be in a bedroom or dinning room where everyone enters. In most cultures women are allowed to enter isibaya only twice. When she leaves her parental home she will be taken to esibayeni for the father to report to boMkhulu that their daughter is now leaving the home to Join another family through marriage and the mkhulus will be happy and expect some cows to come to esibayeni as they have lost their daughter to another family. Sometimes you find out that the cows have already come and have been already reported to them and those cows are already staying with them esibayeni. Secondly when she is getting married she will also be taken to the kraal to get married to boMkhulu and be their wife. The husband will just look after the wife on behalf of boMkhulu bakhe. That is the reason a bride was treated with high honor in Africa. We say Umalukatane utele kutovusa umuti ekhaya manje ubalulekile kakhulu lapha ekhaya kute Umuti wemakhehla uvuke ngobe ngiko lokufunwa makhehla loko kakhulu.
You can buy very expensive cars but that won’t please boMkhulu but bringing umalukatane the bride kutovusa umuti will indeed please them boMkhulu more than anything because that will make sure that their generation will survive. Having children is their priority even if they bless us their aim is for us to keep their generation alive by having children use that money to build the family. The very same cows that used to dwell with boMkhulu esibayeni will be taken after reporting kubo mkhulu to pay lobola for the same woman who has been introduced to them as their wife. BoMkhulu will be paying lobola for their wife who has been introduced to them Esibayeni. The very same cows they stay with esibayeni boMkhulu will then go for paying Lobola for their bride and when they arrived there they will then be introduced to the new sibaya belonging to the bride family. They will then stay with boMkhulu of the bride that in which was reported that she is now leaving the family. When their daughter is leaving the family they are supposed to report to boMkhulu she must not just disappear. BoMkhulu will then be looking forward to new cows esibayeni in which those cows will stay with those boMkhulu, sometimes you find that they have already received those cows and they are looking forward to her departure to the new family. That is why cohibiting/kuhlalisana /vat n sat is not allowed in our culture. Emalobolo belongs to emakhehla/boMkhulu. In reality money cannot be a nowadays substitute for cows because money stays in a bank does not stay esibayeni with emakhehla and those who received it cannot also make it stay esibayeni ne makhehla.
When I write I don’t write things as per nowadays circumstances but I write what I have been taught by my Ancestors. Some have taught me whilst they were still alive and some when they have transformed to the other world. One of the reasons there is a very high divorce rate is because we as black people forget that we are the first born of humanity and we are supposed to teach the ways of living to all these children (Europeans/Indians/Chinese) the ways of living and stop imitating them wanting to be like them and we must follow our culture without compromise. There is no divorce in our marriage because every agreement we make will includes the living and those who are no longer living with us and our agreement are sealed by the blood. Remember that white wedding is also traditional to the whites. Africans can be anything and imitate anyone except being themselves. I know that some will be offended about my writings because of the colonized mind. Even those who came with the bible they claim Jesus was born esibayeni because they know that isibaya is a holy place that is fit for Kings. They were trying to give him a certain status by identifying him with isibaya which is one of the most holy places in Ntu. When men are dead and buried inside or next to Esibayeni it’s not a problem for cows to sleep on top of the graves for bomnumzane. Those who are no longer with us BoMkhulu own those cows and their spirit is attached to them. I fully know that those who are brainwashed by the system will come with excuses and say culture evolves without even understanding what is to evolve, indeed culture has evolved but those who say such wants to destroy and not to evolve the culture. A man is not completed without Isibaya. Siyinduna Silindza Mapopo Rampane. Ndauwe Thokoza.
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