” Mtenderekwane buya, o buya mtenderekwane buya, o buya!”

I’ve spent many days and nights trying to find the words to sufficiently explain what ukufemba is, but I have failed. The words evade me. I am going to attempt a description of what ukufemba is; who performs it; who participates and for what purpose.

Ukufemba is a method of healing that is conducted by a group of dingaka/izangoma. There will be the ngaka who leads ukufemba, then the rest of his/her team assists in providing healing/clarity for the patient ofenjwayo. Bare with me while I qhuga along and try to find the words.

Ukufemba is a doing word, describing the extraction of spiritual maladies from the sick person’s body. This practice is carried out by isangoma/ngaka with the aid of their Ndau ancestor/uMnda/Mondao. If you have never heard of uMndau, please google Nokulinda Mkhize’s Mail and Guardian article on the kinds of spirits that aid us on our journey on earth. Also find her Spirit Series on YouTube. Nokulinda Mkhize, bangani, don’t get it wrong. I reference her a lot because she’s my gobela and her explanations are easy to grasp. Sisonke angithi?

Kufenjwa using ishoba elincane to ‘sweep’ the sick person’s body. Imagine a spiritual X-ray, looking at the person’s energetic body, attempting to extract illness and blockages that cause misfortune, strife, illness, jwalo, jwalo. You may find that uhanjiswa nespoki that steals your money, a snake in your uterus to cause infertility, severe and sharp pains etc. You may not know the foundation of these illnesses/misfortunes and that is where we step in, with ukufemba.

It’s a very intense process, energetically, emotionally, spiritually, particularly to the sangoma who embodies izipoki/dipoko coming from your body. You may walk out of it feeling overwhelmed. You will definitely need to show yourself some love and just unwind, cry, unravel. Whatever makes sense to you after the process. Different healers charge differently for this service, but expect anything from R1000 upwards. I really do not know the amount at which it is capped, because there is no value that can be placed on the healing work izangoma do. WE offer ukufemba at R 2500, excluding the cleansing. The cleansing will cost you an extra R 1500. You need to prepare yourself mentally, financially and spiritually. I can feel your anxiety flaring up, fear not, the gogos will hold you with kindness and love. Ska wara.

When you’re done with ukufenjwa, there is a compulsory cleansing to be done. The cleansing involves ukufutha, ukuphalaza, ukugeza nokuqiniswa (ukugcaba). It is imperative to keep an open mind and approach with respect when coming face-to-face with the services offered endumbeni/esigodlweni/ka seromong. Also, it is not my duty to allay your anxiety/fears about  ubungoma being evil or not, I’m not sure how to phrase this. Nah ah, can’t be me. It is my duty however, to guide, reassure and support you through whatever service you seek from me.

Ukufemba will not make complete sense until you witness it, in action. Describing it doesn’t do it justice. You need to witness it for yourself to know exactly where it’s at.

Thokozani <3

Gogo Malepena

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