The time is 02:45, 16 November 2016. I’ve just woken up in a panic, tears streaming down my face, racing thoughts. Yup, I’m fucked. Screwed. Phelile du ngami! You wonder why so much drama ngo 02:45, not even hora e felletseng motho is out here wailing. Come closer, grab something sabu beveragenyana and let me tell you why things look this shubiled.
I had barely slept the previous night panicking about ilanga lentwaso, which would be on the 25th of November 2016. My sister edlozini and I had been preparing for this day for months. Training idlozi and ourserlves to have nerves of steel and to pick up *imfihlo with the swiftness. You’re probably imagining barefoot people, running around, frantically trying to find imfihlo. If you weren’t, then you should. Heyi bakithi, yasishuka inkani, yhu andinabhongo yemah! You’re probably looking at the word inkani, wondering what stubborness has to do with it.
There are stages in the process of becoming ngaka/isangoma. There’s pre-phehlo mrivithi and dlozi induced strife that may manifest in any of the areas of your life, i.e. finances, mental/emotional health, sexual drive/reproductive health etc. ho hongata man. If you have never been in tune with the ways tsa badimo, mogel, prepare to suffer loss and malady like never before. You feel things gradually worsening in your life. This is when idlozi is alerting you to what you’re called to do. Of course, sithwasa for different reasons singabantu and I believe idlozi communicates this with igojwana. I do not want to be overly presumptuous about idlozi letting you know what your purpose for ukuthwasa is, because amadlozi are not the same and they communicate differently to their grandchildren. Nah’mean? Surrender, but also stay woke. Wabo?
You eventually consult with isangoma and they confirm that unobizo/pitso and they give you guidelines on how to communicate le badimo. If udla *amagobongo it makes things even better in terms of communication le ditaelo from badimo. Enter stage two, where you have now found *ugobela wakho. At this stage you’re probably broke and broken. You probably feel despondent, resentful, angry, confused, gatvol etc. kuyanyiwa nje, basically. Fast forward to where you have found your teacher and some kind person loaned/gifted you ngezidingo zokungena ephehlweni/ditlhoko tsa ho kena lefehlong (can be in the form of money or the items you will need).
Enter the first phase of stage 2 where you’re now training to become isangoma/ngaka. You wake up at odd hours, uzogida (the intensity of this still has me shook, tbh). After that you may not sleep, you can meditate or do other things, but I mean LOL, come on, inqgondo igcwele ubuthongo. You probably have clients coming that day so you prepare a fire to get *isifutho going. Of course I am retelling from the perspective of my *Mpandze/Iziko rules. You’re groggy from sleeplessness, you have muscular pain from ukugida and a pervasive soreness of heart that comes from pre-phehlo things, missing home and just living with idlozi. On top of this you’re making a fire, no, not a smallanyana braai fire. NOPE. A FIRE. You’ve pobably gathered by now that it’s higher grade nyiwing this side of the world. Hayibo, babazani!
We have now graduated to phase two of stage 2: ukukhalela inkani. LMAO! It’s a stage where idlozi is hyper-vigilant and mourning it’s time on earth; resolutions that were made and those that were never reached. Abanye ran away from their gift so they’re making up for lost time. Through you. WAWAWIWA (Ntshali Bodlela, 2016). You feel idlozi lakho lamenting and resolving itself in your emotions, physical body, mental faculties. Yeheni! You’re also going through your own human things. All this colliding in one body? Can you imagine the chaos?! There isn’t enough English, I’m telling you.
During inkani ugida a couple of times a day. It depends really. I won’t go into depth with this one coz triggered, sacred things and typing fatigue. There may be *imfihlo every time ugida. Imfihlo is a deliberately hidden/concealed object that you must phengula (look for) using your third eye (leeihlo la moya). This exercise is specifically designed ukujimisa your third eye. This is the most difficult thing I have ever had to do. It’s the reason I woke up with palpitations on that fateful morning of the 16th. This stage lasts however long idlozi and ugobela see fit. It isn’t up to you. Can you spell surrender?
You eventually get to stage 3, *intwaso, battered and moerse exhausted, but alive. You’re now a fully-fledged isangoma/ngaka. There’s still lots to learn post-phehlo, but you get where I’m going with this. Alilililililili!!!
The time is 03:54, 3rd Novemver 2017 and I am still shook. ShAkEn! November still induces an *anxious-tsipa (Noks Mkhize, 16 December 2016). One year later, ke tsipile sebono ekare nkani ke ena. The feelings are there too: anxiety, melancholy, struggling with surrender (boy oh boy), traces of anger and resentment, jwalo, jwalo. The only difference this time is that I can lament with a glass of G&T and a zol in my hand. Dassit. Like I said, nyiwiwi selemo ho pota. It’s levels to living with idlozi, and the most crucial aspect is to start familiarising yourself with the way idlozi lakho communicates. Remember the extra-sensory levels I mentioned in an earlier blog post? Yeah, that. Also, go with the flow, but stay woke. Be open to receiving guidance from your elders, but be prepared to act on it. It’s a difficult balance to strike, but you must exercise it, nah’msaying? It doesn’t come at once. It’s a process. Amen.
Happy birthday Gogo Madadelana and a happy gobelaversary to our Baba, Gogo Nnwatjakumba, the bestest, g-widdit gobela on this side of the universe. To many more years of living and loving together, cheers *gulps gin*.
Lesedi bana ba thari e ntsho.
*Inkani- the phase that comes prior intwaso.
*Intwaso- May mean the process of training to become ngaka/isangoma or the graduation ceremony that marks the end of your training. It is the latter that is referred to in this blog post.
*Ugobela- Senior ngaka/sangoma in charge of the called person’s training. A teacher, in simpler terms.
*Imfihlo- May refer to a secret, but in this context refers to a strategically hidden object that must be found using the 3rd eye.
*Ukuphengula- X-ray ya leeihlo la moya 😀
*Impandze/Iziko- The ‘school’ under which one trains to become isangoma/ngaka.
*Isifutho- a steam treatment, targeted at the relief of spiritual/physical ailments/blockages of the person who seeks treatment esangomeni.
*Amagobongo- I will do a post dedicated solely to amagobongo. Gogo N (Noks) refers to them as a litmus test for what spiritual ailment is plaguing you. Gogo Jhebu (Ntshali) refers to them as a spiritual antibiotic. Gogo Malepena still needs to ruminate on what she says amagobongo are. It’s somewhere between the explanation ka Baba (Gogo N) and ubafoza (Gogo J).