Life as a young sangoma

By Drum Digital
17 May 2013

Thabiso Siswana is a corporate administrator at a top bank, but on weekends she works as a tradional healer.

While growing up she was a happy little girl who played with dolls and had a lot of friends, but when she went to sleep the nightmares began.

They were so vivid and terrifying that she woke up screaming, her body convulsing in uncontrollable spasms.

Thabiso Siswana, who’s now 24 years old, realises those horrific nightmares were all part of her calling to become a sangoma.

“I used to dream about being flung from a car or talking snakes slithering up the garden path to the front door of our home,” she says.

“As it turns out, these dreams were a sign that I should become a sangoma. For example, being flung from a car meant my ancestors were pushing me away because they were upset with me for not heeding the calling.”

Then, in her late teens, she was beset with financial problems and she had three car accidents in a short space of time.

“But the last straw was when I had another horrifying dream about my ancestors abandoning me,” she says.

“That’s when my mother took me to see a traditional healer who confirmed what I already knew – my ancestors were about to abandon me. And that’s when I decided to answer the calling to be a traditional healer.”

Read more in DRUM - 23 May 2013

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