I am a South African answering a calling to become a Xhosa traditional healer or Igqirha. My spiritual name is Khanyathongo which means shining spirit.
My home is deep in the rural heart of Pondoland, close to Lusikisiki in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. It’s a place of great natural beauty where people live close to nature with no roads or electricity, where water is carried from the river and wood for cooking from the forests. It’s also a place of great spiritual power with unbroken shamanic family lines going back through recorded history and past even the reaches of oral history. In this pocket of beauty and living mythology I still wake up every morning, astonished that I’m part of it.
I answered a spiritual call and I’ve been a thwasa (apprentice / trainee) for the past three and a half years. It’s been a long and difficult road... I wake at 3:00 am to begin preparing medicines. I spend the day in the forest collecting wood and medicines, at the river collecting water and washing clothes, at the homestead cleaning and preparing food.
Early along the way I had to give up my job because the authentic nature of my calling demanded my full time and attention. Using all my savings and borrowing what I could from the bank, I’ve managed to sustain my journey till now, but with my final goal in sight, I’ve simply run out of money.
My phuma (graduation) is set for 25 May 2018 and I’m unable to fund the leap over the last hurdle.
Ceremonies like this are very expensive because they’re attended by sometimes hundreds of people from the area and can last up to five days. No-one can be turned away and it is my duty to provide for every guest. It’s an impoverished community where the only red meat they normally get is from these ceremonies.
I will spend the money I receive on cows, goats and chickens to provide meat for the community, and for the purchase and transport of food, drink and other items for my guests. Any extra money collected will be used for the community.
After my graduation, you’ll be able to see photos and videos of the ceremony on my Facebook page which I’m linking below.
Thank you for your kind and generous attention.